And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem to Antioch.…
I. The test of REAL UNION must be an appeal to self-sacrifice. Antioch was wealthy; Judaea was poor. The prophets came from Jerusalem; the return was relief sent to poor brethren, both as a sign of obedience to the Spirit and as a pledge of future oneness. There could be no more decided evidence that the Gentile converts were really incorporated into the apostolic Church.
II. The prophetic element quite consistent with the maintenance of A SETTLED ORDER in the spiritual life. The extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit must be distinguished from the ordinary work of the Church. The collected relief was sent to "the elders." The hands of Barnabas and Saul carried it. Thus the new Gentile community at Antioch did not break away from the original center at Jerusalem. It was not Saul's aim to disacknowledge those who had preceded him; but, while carefully maintaining the connection, preserving independence.
III. WILLINGHOOD the principle of the Church's charity. "Every man according to his ability." "God loveth a cheerful giver." No sign of ecclesiastical rate-laying. Until the Church became corrupt, it had no need of any other law than spiritual law. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.