Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Acts 11:1-3

Summary retelling of Acts 11:1-3

Word spreads through the Christian communities about Peter’s meeting with the Gentiles.  When Peter goes up to Jerusalem, the Christian leaders – the ones who assert the need to be circumcised – began to criticize him.  They accuse Peter of not only going to the Gentiles but also eating with them.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Gossip.  For the better or for the worse, we human beings like to talk about the strange and unusual.  We enjoy talking about other people and what they are doing.  This can be a very bad thing with very bad consequences.  However, if done right this can be something other than gossip.  It can be spreading an encouraging word about what God is doing that is new and unusual.

Do you think the folks in Jerusalem were speaking proudly of what God was doing among the Gentiles or were they gossiping?  How can we avoid gossiping and focus on trying to spread positive encouragement about what God is doing?

Second Thought:
The leaders begin to criticize Peter before hearing his side of the story.  This is a fairly common trait among human beings.  When we do hear something strange and unusual, we are almost immediately skeptical.  We like to criticize that which we are skeptical about.

What are you quick to criticize?  What have you criticized in the past that you should have accepted?

Third Thought:
The leaders accuse Peter of not only meeting with Gentiles but eating with them.  Of course, they are right.  Peter did stay with Cornelius for a few days, there is no doubt that he ate with them.  From a ritualistic perspective, this would have made him unclean from the perspective of the Jewish Christians (or the Jews!).  The problem is that God had directed Peter to behave the way that he did.  In their criticism, the leaders actually find themselves criticizing God’s action and not understanding that Peter isn’t unclean.

How is it that we occasionally find ourselves arguing against God’s ways?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 11:4-18
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