6 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.
7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter
8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles),
9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
seemed to be something (v.6) — Paul wasn't demeaning the leaders, but he was speaking against their reputation with the Judaizers as ultimate authorities.
whatever they were (v.6) = what they once were. At Pentecost and immediately thereafter (up to the rejection of the risen Messiah by the Jews), the twelve did have ultimate authority under Christ.
it makes no difference to me (v.6) — Paul's commission was from Christ and the twelve had no authority over him.
God shows personal favor to no man (v.6) — God is impartial. The leaders had been with Christ. Paul had warred against the church. But God didn't favor either or give the twelve a higher place than Paul had.
added nothing (v.6) — the leaders added nothing to Paul's message or his authority. The emphasis is on "to me."
on the contrary (v.7) — The leaders not only did not add to Paul in any way, they recognized his own authority and extended fellowship.
when they saw (v.7) — when they heard what Paul had to say
committed to me (v.7) — entrusted to me. Paul's message and authority was wholly God's doing.
uncircumcised (v.7) — Gentiles. circumcised (v.7) — Jews
In verse seven, the Greek reads "gospel of the uncircumcised" and "gospel of the circumcised." Peter's and Paul's gospels were to different audiences, but they were also different gospels.
He who worked (v.8) — God. God makes the individual effective. He worked in Peter with the Jews and in Paul with the Gentiles.
perceived (v.9) — grasped the significance
John (v.9) — This is the only time Paul mentions John in his writings.
pillars (v.9) — Those who bear responsibility. Paul went to the very top of the Jerusalem church.
right hand (v.9) — pledge, public expression of approval
fellowship (v.9) — common interest and hopes
we … Gentiles, they … circumcision (v.9) — Paul still went first to the synagogues, but his message was one of uncircumcision.
only (v.10) — one stipulation, and that not in regard to doctrine
poor (v.10) — poor in material things, especially in Jerusalem and Judea, due to persecution and a great famine in 45 AD (Romans 15:25-27).
eager (v.10) — diligent, willing to exert oneself