|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-6 The grace of God must be owned as the root and fountain of all the good in us, or done by us, at any time. It is great grace and favour from God, if we are made useful to others, and forward to any good work. He commends the charity of the Macedonians. So far from needing that Paul should urge them, they prayed him to receive the gift. Whatever we use or lay out for God, it is only giving him what is his own. All we give for charitable uses, will not be accepted of God, nor turn to our advantage, unless we first give ourselves to the Lord. By ascribing all really good works to the grace of God, we not only give the glory to him whose due it is, but also show men where their strength is. Abundant spiritual joy enlarges men's hearts in the work and labour of love. How different this from the conduct of those who will not join in any good work, unless urged into it!
Verse 4. - Praying us. The entreaties came from them, not from me. That we would receive. These words are almost certainly an explanatory gloss. The translation then is, "begging us for the grace of participation in this ministration to the saints." They were so willing in the matter that they entreated me, as a favour (χάρις), to allow them to have a share in this contribution, because it was to be given to the saints, that is, the suffering peer in the Church of Jerusalem. This Church suffered from chronic poverty. Even the Jewish population were liable to famines, in one of which they had only been kept alive by the royal munificence of a proselyte, Queen Helena,of Adiabene. The Christians would, of course, suffer even more deeply, because they were drawn from the humblest classes and had fewer friends. This was one of the reasons why, as an act of common humanity, it was incumbent on the Gentile Christians to help them (Acts 11:29; Romans 15:25, 26). St. Paul had already brought the subject to the notice of the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:1-4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Praying us with much entreaty,.... They not only gave freely, being unasked by the apostles; but they sought to them, and earnestly entreated them,
that they would receive the gift; the beneficence, what they had so freely and generously collected: and
the fellowship of the ministering to the saints; what they had communicated for the service of the poor saints at Jerusalem, in which they testified their having and holding fellowship with the churches of Christ; and that they would receive it at their hands, and take it upon them, and carry it to Jerusalem, and distribute to the poor saints there, as should seem to them most proper and convenient; which they accordingly agreed to; see Romans 15:25.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. that we would receive—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. Translate therefore, "Beseeching of us … the grace and fellowship of (that is, to grant them the favor of sharing in) the ministering unto the saints." The Macedonian contributions must have been from Philippi, because Philippi was the only church that contributed to Paul's support (Php 4:10, 15, 16).
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