Saturday, 25 April 2015
But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me. 1 Corinthians 16:4
In the previous verse, Paul mentioned that brothers from Corinth should be selected to carry their gift to Jerusalem. He also mentioned letters of approval to accompany them, evidencing apostolic authority in the matter. However, if the gift were of a sufficient size to warrant a personal visit by Paul, he would accompany them as well. This would be to highlight the exceptional generosity of the Gentiles towards the saints in Jerusalem.
No matter what though, Paul would not consider taking the money by himself without some from Corinth to accompany it. This was a safeguard in several ways. There were factions in Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 1:12), and those opposed to him could make unfounded claims against him. There were also many enemies which Paul had made in Jerusalem when he converted to Christ. In order to ensure that the entire process was kept above reproach, it was necessary for brothers in Corinth to be a part of the traveling party.
It is seen in Romans 15:25 that Paul did go with them when the gift was finally prepared. It is also noted in Acts 20:4 that delegates from Corinth went as well. In all, Paul made and exceptional example for others to follow. When matters of such importance are concerned, every detail is to be kept above reproach.
Life application: The Lord showed in the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16) that we are to be trustworthy with earthly riches. If we fail at this, then how can we be trusted with true riches? Let us take this to heart and remember that we have a responsibility to honesty in all matters because we bear the name of the Lord.
Lord God, help my heart to be free from thoughts of greed, immorality, and self-centeredness. This is just a temporary life and I know that You are far more pleased with how I act towards the eternal riches You offer than You ever would be if I became a millionaire with a large house, fancy cars, and glamorous looks. Those things will fade, but a heart directed toward Your glory will shine for eternity. Help me to remember this always. Amen.