Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
It takes a little more effort to understand what was going on then, after so many years and a different culture but the request to have the new “non-Jewish” Christians circumcised was a serious matter. It meant that these “non-Jewish” Christians would have to become Jewish to become Christian, if that seems backward to you, it did to Paul and Barnabas as well (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What is your ‘circumcision’ that you deem plays a part of becoming a Christian, but it’s not?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for somewhere in the world that needs God’s attention. Flick to a news app or website, and pick a news story to pray for.