|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:22-29 The apostle sought the things of Christ more than his own will, and would not leave his work of planting churches to go to Rome. It concerns all to do that first which is most needful. We must not take it ill if our friends prefer work which is pleasing to God, before visits and compliments, which may please us. It is justly expected from all Christians, that they should promote every good work, especially that blessed work, the conversion of souls. Christian society is a heaven upon earth, an earnest of our gathering together unto Christ at the great day. Yet it is but partial, compared with our communion with Christ; for that only will satisfy the soul. The apostle was going to Jerusalem, as the messenger of charity. God loves a cheerful giver. Every thing that passes between Christians should be a proof and instance of the union they have in Jesus Christ. The Gentiles received the gospel of salvation from the Jews; therefore were bound to minister to them in what was needed for the body. Concerning what he expected from them he speaks doubtfully; but concerning what he expected from God he speaks confidently. We cannot expect too little from man, nor too much from God. And how delightful and advantageous it is to have the gospel with the fulness of its blessings! What wonderful and happy effects does it produce, when attended with the power of the Spirit!
Verses 25-27. - But now I go to Jerusalem ministering unto the saints. For it hath pleased (εὐδόκησανα, implying good will) Achaia and Macedonia to make a certain contribution (κοινωνίαν, intimating the communion of Christians with each other, evinced by making others partakers of their own blessings; of Romans 12:13; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 1 Timothy 6:18; Hebrews 13:16) to the poor of the saints which are at Jerusalem. As to this collection for the poor Christians at Jerusalem, which St. Paul seems to have been intent on during his journeys, and which he was now on the point of carrying to its destination, cf. Acts 19:21; Acts 24:17; 2 Corinthians 8:1 - 9:15. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister (λειουργῆσαι; here in the general sense of ministry; see on Romans 13:6) to them in carnal things. Here we have the same idea of salvation being derived to the Gentiles from the Jews as is prominent in Romans 11:17, 18, and apparent in Romans 15:7, seq.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But now I go unto Jerusalem,.... Whither he was bound in spirit, not knowing what should befall him there, from which he could not be dissuaded by his friends, and thither he did go:
to minister unto the saints; not to preach the Gospel, though doubtless he did that when he was there; but to distribute among the poor saints what had been raised for them by the Greek churches; who had entreated him to take upon him this service, even the fellowship of ministering to the saints; and though this might seem below his office as an apostle, and as what more became an inferior officer, a deacon in a church; yet the apostle's heart was so much in it, and he was so bent upon it, and so diligent to execute it, that he postponed his journey to Spain and visit to Rome for the sake of it, and assigns this as a reason why he could not come at present.
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