Monday, April 9, 2012

Acts 10:39-43

Summary retelling of Acts 10:39-43

Peter continues to tell the story of Jesus.  He confesses that the Jews in Jerusalem crucified Jesus.  Peter also confesses that God made Jesus rise on the third day and also made Jesus appear to those who followed Him.  Furthermore, we are to be His witnesses.  Peter then confesses that God has called him (and all those to whom Jesus has been revealed) to testify that He is the one who will judge the world.  Peter testifies that Jesus is the one about whom all the prophets spoke and it is through Jesus that we can receive true forgiveness of sins.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Peter lays the blame for Jesus’ death upon the Jews in Jerusalem.  At this point, this is a very tactical move.  Remember that it was actually the Roman soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross.  However, the Jews were the ones that demanded the action.  Also remember that Cornelius is a Roman centurion.  Had Peter focused on the actions of the Roman soldiers, he could have alienated Cornelius and his family.

How does this point illustrate how much we need to be careful what we say?  It is one thing to be up front and honest; but what are the times in ministry to be careful about what we say?  How important is it to also try and balance all of this with making sure that we continue to tell the truth, too?

Second Thought:
Peter talks about Jesus appearing to the ones who were to be His witnesses.  This is really pretty simple, actually.  Jesus is in their life because they have turned away from the way of sin and received God’s gift of grace.  Because Jesus is in their life, they are expected to be a witness to Him.

Are you in a relationship with Jesus?  Then are you called to be His witness?

Third Thought:
Peter is also clear that it is through Jesus Christ only that we find forgiveness of sins.  This is really important to the Roman citizen who had thousands of gods from whom they could choose.  Peter is identifying one deity out of thousands in which Cornelius should focus.  This is an important point for us as well in the modern world.  We may not have thousands of gods, but we do have thousands of things that we can follow.  But there is still only one person or thing that we can follow and receive true forgiveness of sin.

How many things have you followed in the pursuit of happiness?  Why is it so easy to be distracted from following God?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 10:44-48
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