Hey! Randy

Galatians 2:8-10

Posted by heyrandy on September 20, 2010

8(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

9And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

10Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. Gal.2:8-10 AV

Paul continues his defense of his understanding of the Gospel and his preaching of it to the Gentiles. Here Paul tells us that although the “pillars” did not add anything to his preaching, they did extend their approval. Paul got it right. The other apostles have certified this. The phrase “the right hand of fellowship” may mean a handshake. The handshake is an ancient practice. It show that one is unarmed and coming in peace. Here it is a sign of approval. I hope one day to shake Paul’s hand. I am assuming that this practice is to be followed in heaven. Once we are done with the handshaking, we can then ask him, “What did you mean by this?” It will be glorious.

Paul uses v.8 to explain the parallel nature of his apostleship with that of Peter’s. The chief difference is in the people to whom each man was to primarily go, Paul the Gentiles, Peter the Jews. It did not mean that these ethnic distinctions were rigid, never-to-be-violated strictures. If he could get an audience with the Jews, Paul would preach to them. The same would hold true with Peter.

This distinction is further specified in v.9. It is a simple matter of division of effort. One is to exercise the gifts one is given in the manner best suited to glorify God. Mission specialization is not uncommon today.

The Jerusalem church put only one requirement on Paul: remember the poor. This Paul says, he was eager to do. A word of encouragement is always proper.

Reread the larger section of Galatians 2:6-10. Catch the flow of Paul’s thinking. It is always easy to pick out single verses to explain things, but the reading of larger pericopes of scripture is not to be forgotten. This “book” is really a letter. It is to be read and understood as a whole. Don’t atomize it to the detriment of the whole.


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