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Romans 15:31 – The stubborn in Judea

16-03-2022 - Posted by Hans

…that I should be rescued from the stubborn in Judea and my dispensation for Jerusalem may be becoming well received by the saints…

Two motives are mentioned in this verse for the intercession to which Paul calls. And both are related to each other. In the first place, Paul hopes to be saved from the stubborn in Judea. By these recalcitrants he is not only referring to the Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah but also (and perhaps especially) to Jewish brothers who did not want to have anything to do with his ministry among the nations (Acts 21:20,21). Declared opponents of the “Gospel of the uncircumcision” entrusted to him (Gal.2:7).

Second, Paul hopes that his ministry to the poor saints in Jerusalem would be welcomed positively. He is apparently far from sure of that, because of the bad reputation with which he was known in Judea. He couldn’t do any good there. Would not a “heathen” gift to a poor Jerusalem provoke even more jealousy? After all, with the coming of the Messiah, wouldn’t the rich blessing go to the nations via Jerusalem?! And not vice versa! Would an offering from the nations for Jerusalem perhaps be seen as a provocation of Paul? Paul’s fearful suspicions have indeed come true. And at the same time: that’s how it had to go!