James and Dolly, Montpelier.
Monday, 3 April 2023
And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles. Acts 15:33
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
The previous verse said that Judas and Silas encouraged and strengthened the brethren at Antioch. With that, it now says of them, “And after they had stayed there for a time.”
No specific time is stated, but it was long enough to accomplish whatever goals were intended to be met but not recorded in Luke’s narrative. The main goal, that of encouraging and strengthening was certainly fully met. Confidence in the teachings of Barnabas and Paul would have been realized and even bolstered, and anyone who was found to be harming the congregation would have been weeded out and expelled.
With the time for their return having arrived, it next says that “they were sent back with greetings.” Rather, the Greek reads, “they were sent away with peace.”
It is a Hebraism signifying a blessing for peace to be upon them. The traditional words in Hebrew are normally shalom aleichem, peace unto you. Some form of blessing such as this would have been pronounced over them as they were sent “from the brethren to the apostles.”
Here, some manuscripts state, “to those who had sent them.” The meaning is basically unchanged. Either way, these two men had fulfilled their task, they had confirmed the gospel Barnabas and Paul had proclaimed, it being the same gospel as that of those in Jerusalem, they had refuted the falsities of the Judaizers, and they had encouraged and strengthened the church at Antioch.
Life application: It is hard to imagine how people can continue to teach such heretical ideas as that of the Judaizers, meaning adherence to the Law of Moses, or those of hyperdispensationalists, meaning the teaching that there are two gospels – one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles – after going through this account in Acts. But they are out there, ready to destroy the faith of congregations and bring them into the bondage of heresy.
Variations of these heresies abound as well. So be sure to read your Bible, study proper theology, and apply right doctrine to your walk before the Lord. Don’t be duped by those with pious-sounding arguments about how holy they are because of what they do. Rather, remember that you are made holy because of what Jesus has done.
And that holiness is bestowed upon all in the same way. It is through faith in the finished, final, and forever work of Jesus Christ. Any who come to Him, Jew or Gentile, is saved by simple faith in what He has done. Hold fast to this precious message of salvation.
Lord God, thank You for the simple gospel that saves. Thank You that Jesus has done it all. Now, all we need to do is believe. Yes, thank You, O God, for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.