In a divisive world the counsel of Jerusalem stands as a beacon of hope.
While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.”Acts 15v1
Two theologies had developed in tandem. Only one could be true.
Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, …, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question.
Jerusalem was the seat of power for the circumcision view making this an act of humility and faith.
When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church,Acts 15v4
In polarised situations the opposing party could not welcome. As the church of Antioch had shown humility, so did the church in Jerusalem.
some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”Acts 15v5
The opposing view was openly stated. Without this there could never have been the necessary range of discussion. Any solution would have appeared a fudge.
Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe.Acts 15v7
When everyone had been heard, Peter took them back to the critical intervention from God. May God give grace that we could resolve things with such humility.
Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash