But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.…
I. OUR OBLIGATIONS TO THE JEWS. We have received "of their spiritual things."
1. With the patriarch Abraham was made that covenant, on the footing of which every blessing that we hope for, in time or eternity, is secured to us. But Abraham has further conferred a mass of obligations upon us, in that he illustrated the life of faith in his conduct. Who doubts what is the duty of the Christian, when he sees what the father of the faithful did?
2. From Moses we had the law, that law which shows us our need of the covenant, and shuts us up to it. When we come to God and lay hold of this covenant, the same law, which is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, becomes a light to our feet, and a lamp to our paths.
3. Take the prophets, and see what they have given us, in the shape of promises of Christ and spiritual blessings.
4. Who reads the Psalms and does not feel a sense of obligation to David, that he ever unfolded so all the workings of his own heart for our edification and for our comfort?
5. Remember the apostles, who exhibited the Saviour, and laid down their lives that we might know Him, and enjoy all the blessings of the gospel. Now the text says that we have received their spiritual things, and that, consequently, we are their debtors. Perhaps you will say, they were far distant; we were indebted to them, but what have the Jews of the present day done unto us? But God blessed the Jewish nation in spite of all their rebellion, for Abraham's sake, and preserved a light unto Judah for a thousand years for David's sake! Well, then, if He, at the distance of so many centuries regarded Abraham, and David, and vouchsafed to the most unworthy persons blessings for their sakes, surely let not us talk of the unworthiness of the existing generation, but remember our obligations to the generations that are past. But we are expressly told that the Jews are beloved of God for their fathers' sake; shall they not, then, be beloved by us for their fathers' sake?
II. THE RETURN WE SHOULD RENDER TO THEM.
1. To seek for ourselves those blessings which they have transmitted to us (Hebrews 2:3, 4). In embracing the Saviour, and giving ourselves up to Him as Abraham did in a life of faith, and as all the patriarchs, and prophets, and apostles did.
2. To make them partakers of the blessings which you yourselves have received. If the apostles were debtors to the Gentiles, much more are we debtors to the Jews. The Gentiles had done nothing for them; the Jews have done everything for us (Romans 11:30-31).Conclusion:
1. Now, suppose there were famine, and every one of you had given to his steward a large sum of money, to supply the wants of the sick and dying, and instead he wasted the money on himself, who would not be filled with indignation? Oh, let conscience speak, and it will show you that you are much bound to strive for the salvation of the Jews, as well as for your own; and if you do not you are a robber.
2. But some, perhaps, may say, the time is not come. Where has God told you that? What have you to do with the times and seasons? Did not the apostles search and seek them out at the peril of their lives?
3. But they won't receive it; they are hardened. Pray, tell me what you yourselves were? And whose fault is it? Ours, who have treated them with such contempt. What would you have been if they had treated you as you have treated them?
4. Do you ask, How shall I do it? In any way you can — by prayer, by sending them instruction, by giving them the Bible.
(C. Simeon, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.