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©John Yerkes

Chapter 15:25-33 (ESV)

Posted on January 22, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 15:25-33 (ESV) - At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.

I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Question to consider: What did Paul mean that the Gentile believers “owed” their contribution to the saints in Jerusalem?

The region of Achaia was in the southern part of modern-day Greece, and Paul had served the church in its capital city of Corinth. The couple who founded the church in Corinth was Priscilla and Aquila, and now that the Jewish banishment from Rome had lifted, they had returned to Rome and would appreciate the news that the church they founded had joyfully participated in this gift for their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem.

After the overwhelming generosity of the church in Macedonia, Paul wrote to the church in Corinth to deal with some of the troubles they experienced in his absence and out of concern that they, a much wealthier group of people, would fail to be as generous as the poorer Macedonian body. (2 Corinthians 9)

The church in Jerusalem was suffering greatly due to the persecution of the Jews in Judea (whom Paul calls unbelievers), and everything was intensified due to a great famine that was prophesied by Agabus in Acts 11:27-30 and took place during the reign of Claudius (the caesar who expelled the Jews from Rome in AD 49). Paul’s journey to Jerusalem to deliver aid was vital to their survival, and I believe that God used this famine and the generosity of the Gentile believers to help unite the church. It was too easy for the Jewish and Gentile Christians to separate from one another, and Paul had been addressing some of these potential conflicts and divisions throughout this letter.

This one act of mercy and love would destroy the pride of the Jewish Christians in accepting the material blessing from their Gentile brothers, and offer an expression of gratitude from the Gentiles to their Jewish brothers for delivering the spiritual blessing that Christ had come to reconcile people from every nation.

After the delivery of this gift was complete, Paul was looking forward to coming to the church at Rome overflowing with the blessing of a united church on his way to deliver the gospel to Spain. Paul asked them to pray for the outcome to be as he had hoped and for deliverance from the unbelieving Jews who desired his death. The gift was well-received as Paul had hoped, but if you remember Luke’s account in Acts 21:27-39, the unbelieving Judeans brought a false accusation against Paul that he took Gentiles into the temple. They would have killed him if he were not delivered by the Roman tribune in Jerusalem and ultimately sent away to Rome for trial.

Paul’s prayer was indeed answered in being able to come to Rome, but I’m sure he was hoping it wouldn’t be in chains, and Paul was never able to complete his mission to deliver the gospel to Spain.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for receiving our prayers and giving us Your Holy Spirit who makes them presentable to You. Although we may have a picture in our minds of how we would like You to answer our prayers, help us to trust in Your goodness to bring them about in the proper time and means. Amen.