Arriving in Jerusalem, Paul and his people were met with a warm welcome (v.17). We read that on the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present (v.18). Quick sidebar – this shows us that by this early stage in church history, there was a singular leader (James) and a plurality of elders in assistance (and all the elders were present. For more on this, try here or here).
So Paul and party are received warmly and the positivity keeps coming:
“When Paul had greeted them, he began to explain in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised God.”
(Acts 21.19-20a, NET)
First on the agenda, it seems, was for Paul to explain in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. Paul doesn’t tell James and the elders all that he had done, but what God had done…through his ministry. This news is met with praise: When they heard this, they praised God.
There could have been tension when Paul arrived (as we’ll talk about tomorrow) but talking about all that God had done brought down barriers and picked up the praises.
As we start a new day and a new week where the mercies are new and the grace is still boundless, take a moment to think on what God has done in your life. Tell somebody. Remind yourself. Hear yourself recounting the wondrous deeds of the Lord and, as James and the elders did here, praise God!