GOSPEL MEDITATION # 46
The Jerusalem Council, part two
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
4 Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Peter recounts the Holy Spirit being given to Cornelius,
a Gentile, who was saved in the same manner they were.
- Silence came upon the church at Jerusalem. Then Paul
and Barnabas speak of the conversion of Gentiles also.
- James, the half brother of Jesus, who has risen to a place
of authority in the Jerusalem Church, makes a statement.
- James, referencing Peter (Simeon), admits that God has
visited the Gentiles, a truly revolutionary understanding.
- James quotes Amos 9:11-12 which talks about “Gentiles
who are called by my name.” The prophet Amos points to
the inclusion of Gentiles into the family of God.
- James then makes a judgment, based apparently on what the
church is coming to acknowledge, that Gentiles will be
welcomed in, but with certain considerations to be met.
- Gentiles are not to be troubled but a letter should be written
that outlines four things they should abstain from: one, things
polluted by idols; two, sexual immorality; three, what has been
strangled; four, blood.
- His reasoning is that from ancient times Moses, the Law of
Moses, is read every Sabbath in synagogues.
- Commentators think the reason for this is that Jews and Gentiles
might then be able to have fellowship together and there not be a
separate “branch” of Christianity.
- The meanings of the four items mentioned by James are not
easily interpreted or understood.