Unlimited: A Contribution for the Poor
Dec 8, 2023 239
For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem (Romans 15:26).
During his fourth and final missionary journey, Paul had collected money from the Gentile churches to help the poor believers in Jerusalem. There had been a severe famine throughout the Roman Empire in AD 45–63. The word Paul used for “the poor” is a word that connotes abject poverty, total destitution, and subject to starvation.
Paul conducted a sustained charity drive in the lands in which he preached, in order to alleviate the suffering of the poor in Jerusalem. He intended to then personally bring to Jerusalem the money he had raised from the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
Paul conducted a sustained charity drive in the lands in which he preached, in order to alleviate the suffering of the poor in Jerusalem.
Paul particularly highlights the gifts that he had collected from Macedonia and Achaia because “their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” and “they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability” (2 Cor 8:1-3.) The money was given voluntarily and generously.
The Macedonian believers illustrated what Jesus said about the widow’s offering:
“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43–44.)
God measures our giving not by the amount that we give, but by what is left in our pocket.
How do we respond when we are asked by Christian charities to help our poor brothers and sisters in Christ in other lands? Do we resent being asked or do we cheerfully contribute as we can?