The Jerusalem Council


Jesus-365-1Chapter 20 –  Early Spread of Gospel By Apostles
Story No. 19 of 21 (Acts 11:1-18; 15:1-35
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Peter’s directive to welcome uncircumcised Gentiles without having to follow Jewish ceremonial customs into the Christian Church, was not met with immediate approval by all Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Indeed, many took issue with him saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and shared a meal with them” at Cornelius’ house. (Acts 11:2)

However, when Peter recounted his own vision, the appearance of the Angel to Cornelius and how the Holy Spirit ascended upon the Gentiles, they changed their views and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted the repentance that leads to life even to the Gentiles”. (Acts 11:18)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, not everyone beyond Jerusalem heard about the directive or chose to follow it! When some men from Judea came to Antioch and started to teach that “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved,” a major argument and debate ensued between them and, Paul and Barnabus. (Acts 15:1-2)

To settle their dispute, they agreed that Paul, Barnabus and others should travel to Jerusalem and take direct instruction from the Apostles and elders.

When Paul, Barnabus and the others met with the Apostles, there was much debate but overwhelming agreement. They concluded, as before, that uncircumcised Gentiles were welcome to join the community of Christians and gave a few additional helpful instructions regarding idols, blood food and morality to enable Jew and Gentile converts to coexist, to live and worship the same Body of Christ.

They also agreed to put their decision in a letter and send the disciples, Judas and Silas, with Paul and Barnabus to convey their ruling.

Letter from the Apostles and Elders:

From the apostles and elders, your brothers, to the Gentile brothers and sisters in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, greetings!

Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused you, upsetting your minds by what they said, we have unanimously decided to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we are sending Judas and Silas who will tell you these things themselves in person. For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules:

  • That you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols
  • and from blood
  • and from what has been strangled (unbled meat)
  • and from sexual immorality.

If you keep yourselves from doing these things, you will do well.

Farewell. (Acts 15:23-29)

Thoughts

Thought

St Paul urged people to regularly abstain from food, to fast, as an act of charity to God. (1 Corinthians 8-10).

Is today a good time for you?

ReflectionsReflection

Lord Jesus, I love you with all my heart; Your love is all that I desire; Your love is eternal. Amen.

Cross-4RPrayer: Psalm 130

Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord, hear my voice.
O let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.
If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness;
for this we revere you.
My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord,
more than watchmen for daybreak.
Because with the Lord, there is mercy
and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem from all its iniquity.

Private-MomentsPrivate Moments
Music Suggestion: Holy Family

Listen and reflect… pause and talk.

16th November

International Day of Tolerance (UN)

If we were known by our temperament, Mr Angry, Mr Hate and Mr Intolerance would be among the most common names in the world!

Pray for the grace to respect others at all times.

Hail Mary…


Read More: Jesus’ Life – See All 365 Stories

(Note: The story order represents an approximate timeline of events in Jesus’ ministry; Biblical Scholars views vary.)Accessibility Checker