GOSPEL MEDITATION # 45
The Jerusalem Council, part one
- 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.
- The apostle/missionaries return to their home base, the church at Antioch of Syria.
- “Some men from Judea” arrive from the Jerusalem church—these are Jewish Christians, sometimes known as Judaizers, who are convinced Gentiles must conform to the laws of Moses, beginning with circumcision, in order to receive salvation.
- Notice Paul and Barnabas had ”no small dissension and debate” with them. All was not peaceful and wonderful in the early church, and nothing has changed since then.
- Paul and Barnabas, along with others, are commissioned to go to Jerusalem to settle the issue.
- The two travelled south toward Jerusalem and visited “brothers” in Phoenicia and Samaria indicating churches were already established in those areas by AD 49.
- In Jerusalem, the “apostles and elders” welcomed them; Paul and Barnabas then described their missionary tour and the conversion of Gentiles.
- The “party of the Pharisees” interjected that these Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses.
- The leaders of the Jerusalem church then convened to consider the matter. Peter spoke about his being called to Gentiles (Cornelius) and present the Gospel to him and other Gentiles. Peter also witnessed the working of the Holy Spirit coming upon those Gentiles.
- Peter sees no reason to place the yoke of the law upon them.