Read: Galatians 2:6-10
Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. (v. 10)
When Paul visited the apostles, they needed to make sure they were in agreement on a core gospel principle. They discussed a heady theological topic: did Gentiles need to become Jews first before becoming Christian? Did they need to follow the old ceremonial laws that had long distinguished God’s people from all others? After much discussion they decided that no, Christ was the new reality now, and Gentiles could become Christ’s followers without first needing to become Jewish.
Like many church discussions, this question was likely the center of attention for a while. Theological arguments can consume a lot of energy. Indeed, sometimes they can consume so much energy that the church may not have a lot of juice left to devote to other issues, including important ministries like caring for the poor.
That’s why the final verse about the Jerusalem conversation is so wonderful. Yes, they all agreed theologically. But before they adjourned the meeting, someone said “Let’s not forget the poor in all this!” Paul could not have agreed more. It serves as a reminder to us today that no matter how certain we are to get all our theology straight, if in the end we are perfectly orthodox but ignore those who need our help, then we are forgetting one of the biggest things Jesus ever wanted us to do in the first place. —Scott Hoezee
Prayer: Help us always, O Jesus, to remember the least of these among us.