NO RESPECT OF PERSONS.
August 25, 1900.
LET the student not only review last week's lesson, fixing clearly in mind all the incidents connected with the meeting in Jerusalem, to which Paul went up fourteen years after his first visit, but also review the first chapter of Galatians, and especially the first five verses of the second chapter, which formed the lesson two weeks ago. It will take much study to have all these things so well placed in the mind that all the scriptures blend together into one narrative, and we can see everything at one glance as in a panorama, without the Bible in our hands; but the satisfaction that comes from such knowledge and the new lessons that one continually learns, amply repay one for the effort. Having the first five verses of the second chapter as vividly in our minds as are the events of yesterday, we can add the following:--
“But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me; God accepteth not man’s person)--they, I say, who were of repute imparted nothing to me; but contrariwise, when they saw that I had been intrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter with the gospel of the circumcision (for He that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for me also unto the Gentiles); and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision; only they would that we should remember the poor; which very thing I was also zealous to do.”
- GOD looks at what a man is, and not at what he seems to be. What he seems to be is what men estimate him to be; what he is, is the measure of the power and wisdom of Christ that he has in him.
- It was impossible that the men in Jerusalem, no matter how high their position, could impart to Paul any knowledge in the Gospel, for he had received it directly from God, and was constantly receiving fresh revelations. Yet he did not despise, or hold himself above, the other brethren.
- The thing to be learned from this narrative is that all the brethren were agreed in the Gospel. No matter where or by what immediate agency the Gospel had come to them, it was exactly the same in all.
- “To the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Although Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, he never forgot his Jewish brethren, and was always zealous in collecting means for the relief of the poor among them. He had already been up to Jerusalem to carry gifts to them. See Acts 11:29, 30.