Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

Christians should help poor people

1 Corinthians 11:20-22

The ‘Lord’s Supper’ seems to be the name that the church in Corinth used for their meals together. ‘Supper’ is a meal; and in the Book of 1 Corinthians, ‘Lord’ usually seems to refer to Christ. So, this was Christ’s special meal. Or that was what they called it.

Paul insisted that their meal did not deserve any such name. Yes, the Christians in Corinth were meeting together, and they certainly ate well. But their meal had no connection with Christ. It was not an opportunity for Christians to show love to each other, as Christ did (John 13:1-4).

In fact, it was the opposite. It had become an opportunity for the richer Christians to act in a greedy and selfish manner. If they shared their food, it was only with their rich friends. If they shared the wine, they kept too much for themselves.

There were poor people in that church; its members included several slaves (7:21-22). That meal could have provided an ideal opportunity for the other Christians to help them. They all could have shared the good food, and the poor Christians could take home some of the food. But that was not happening.

Paul cared very much for poor people. His words show that this matter upset him deeply. Wherever Paul went, he collected money for poor Christians (Galatians 2:10). He had taught the Christians in Corinth to do that, too (16:1-4).

But it is not enough just to help poor people in a distant country. Christians should also care about the poor people who live among them.

Next part: Jesus’ last meal with his disciples (1 Corinthians 11:23)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.