Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
Paul arrives in Jerusalem and meets with the Elders. He’s excited to share the results of his mission trips. When they heard this, they praised God.
God gave Paul incredible success in reaching out to the Gentile people. His reputation of establishing churches with large Gentile populations has preceded him to Jerusalem. But not all rumored about Paul’s work is true.
The elders inform Paul the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem have been told Paul teaches the Gentiles to reject the teaching of Moses. The elders are concerned that Paul’s presence will disturb the peace of the Jewish Christians there.
Of course Paul taught the truth, that following the teaching of Jesus is all-sufficient. However, he didn’t teach Gentile Christians to reject Moses, he only informed them they didn’t need to keep the customs of the Jews to be pleasing to God.
But, as we have already observed, some Jewish Christians do not yet understand this truth. They believe in Jesus for salvation, but erroneously believe everyone must also keep the teachings of Moses.
The elders have a plan to remove any doubt about Paul’s personal acceptance of Jewish customs. They ask Paul to take four men to the temple and pay for their purification rites.
Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you.
It is very informative that both the eldership and Paul know that these rites in the temple have nothing to do with salvation in Jesus. Yet, they are willing to participate in them for the purpose of unity with the Jewish Christians for whom these traditions are culturally relevant.
So Paul goes into a temple and makes an offering to priests who do not believe in Jesus. What does this say about our own willingness to become all things to all people that we may win them to Jesus? It's a Good Plan.