When Paul mentions the Macedonians, it would be obvious to those in Corinth: That’s where Alexander the Great came from. Alexander conquered the known world, but he respected the Jews. He built the city and library of Alexandria, which translated the Hebrew Scriptures for the Greek world.

If the Macedonians were in on this generosity, certainly the Corinthians would get in on it too. And Paul again points to the ultimate generosity of Jesus, who sets fire to the soul of every sincere believer.

“I’m not trying to order you around against your will. But by bringing in the Macedonians’ enthusiasm as a stimulus to your love, I am hoping to bring the best out of you. You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich.”

2 Corinthians 8:8-9 MSG