After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
“‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.’
Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”
Comment: James (there were several ‘James’ and one had already been stoned to death) after the crucifixion and resurrection is the leader of the believers in Jerusalem. Peter is there but doesn’t seem to be the leader. James has the chair at this meeting and summarises the situation, after a full presentation and explanation of the situation by those involved. a) The law is not to be downloaded onto the Gentile believers’ shoulders. b) There were underlying principles which were to be followed – God alone is to be worshipped (no idols); c) The significance of blood at the centre of Christian theology is to be maintained and sexual purity is underlined. We are not judged by the Law nevertheless life style is very relevant!
Prayer: Thank You for the very wise advice Your Word gives us, Lord.