Paul has written much in his letter about the love that Gentile Christians should have for the Jews (11:11-28). The Jews are Israel's people, from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the Gentiles are people from the other nations. In Romans 13:8, Paul describes love as a debt that Christians owe. They show that love when they act to help other people.
Christians have a general duty to show love to other people, and they should not expect anything in return (Matthew 5:43-48). However, Gentile Christians have a particular duty to love the Jews, because they have already received much in return. It was to the Jews that God originally gave the Bible and so many other good things (9:4-5). By means of Christ, they have now shared these benefits with the world (15:8-10). Gentile Christians receive these benefits as they join with the Jews as the people of God (Ephesians 2:11-19). In addition, all the first Christians were Jews; it was them who originally taught God's message about Christ, the gospel, to people from other nations.
The Christians in Macedonia and Achaia showed their love in a very practical way. They were mainly Gentile Christians. They collected a large gift to help the poor Christians in Jerusalem, who were Jewish Christians. They gave gladly; in fact, Paul did not even ask Macedonia's Christians to give (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). Each person gave what he himself had chosen to give (2 Corinthians 9:5-7). They considered it a wonderful opportunity to be able to help the Jewish Christians in this way.
Next part: Paul's words for this 'gift' (Romans 15:28)
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© 2022, Keith Simons.