“They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do”
They desired only that we should remember the poor,
The apostles agreed with Paul’s gospel of grace to the Gentiles at the Jerusalem Council but they had one request that he should “remember the poor.” They did not demand that he do this; it was simply a request. The Gentile church was in a financial position to meet the needs of the Jews under persecution in Judea. This request was not doctrinal but practical, therefore, the Judaizers could not use this as leverage against Paul. Only one stipulation came out of the Jerusalem Council [“only”] and that stipulation had nothing to do with doctrine.
the very thing which I also was eager to do
The word “eager” carries the ideas of to hasten to do a thing, to exert oneself, endeavor, give diligence. The idea is that Paul was zealous in remembering the poor. He took this task with forceful motivation. Paul previously brought financial relief to Jerusalem (Acts 11:29-30) so giving to the poor was in his heart already. He raised funds on his third missionary enterprise to alleviate those destitute due to persecution (1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9,15; 9:1-5, 12; Romans 15:25-28).
God expects us to help those who cannot help themselves.
God expects Christians to care for those who cannot help themselves. Those who can help themselves have the responsibility to feed themselves (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Are you “eager” to do something for destitute believers? It is not enough to be willing; we must be enthusiastic about giving to those in destitution.
“If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” (James 2:15-16).
“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17).