After Easter, James (a brother of Jesus) appears to be the leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 21:18). James’ importance as a leader in the church is also acknowledged by Paul in Galatians, albeit somewhat grudgingly (1:19; 2:6, 9). Paul disagreed sharply with James’ compromise policy regarding the admission of Gentiles. Paul saw no need for asking Gentiles to observe token markers of Jewish identity—acts that James thought were appropriate as signs of unity (Galatians 2:11-15; Acts 15:19-29).
Nevertheless, Paul devoted a considerable portion of his ministry to collecting money that could be sent to the Christian church in Jerusalem where James was the recognized leader (Romans 15:25-29; 2 Corinthians 8-9).
Thus, Paul’s “grumpy support” for James and the Jerusalem church is often cited as an example of how Christians might continue to support an overarching church body even when they disagree with some of its leaders’ decisions.
This message was excerpted from “Getting to know James and Philip” by Mark Allan Powell in the May 2015 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Philip and James, Apostles.
This Mother’s Day, remember or honor your mother or a mother-figure in your life with a gift to 2122: Growing Katie’s Fund for the next 100 years. Make that gift this month and it will be matched, up to $25,000, through a generous gift of Barbara Thistle. Learn more.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.