Sunday, May 6, 2012

Acts 15:1-5

Summary retelling of Acts 15:1-5

Some people come to Antioch from Jerusalem teaching that you must be circumcised in order to be saved.  Paul and Barnabas have a pretty heated argument with them and decide to take the matter up with the apostles in Jerusalem.  On their way to Jerusalem, they pass through areas where there are followers of Jesus Christ and they share how the Lord has been working among the Gentiles.  The news brings much rejoicing to the people.  In Jerusalem, they are welcomed by the apostles.  Some heard what Paul and Barnabas had to say with rejoicing.  Others heard it and tried to correct Paul and Barnabas by saying that people needed to be circumcised.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
It is true what they say.  There is no rest for the weary.  Paul and Barnabas just get back from going around the world proclaiming Jesus Christ to people and no sooner do they begin to enjoy their respite and celebration in Jerusalem when people come and try to make trouble.  At least on the mission field Paul and Barnabas were fighting with Jews.  Here, they are forced to fight with fellow Christians.

Why it is sad to see the infighting that begins here?  What is really the source of the fighting?

Second Thought:
Paul and Barnabas decide to go to the “ruling authorities” – that is, the disciples in Jerusalem.  On their way, they bring word of what God is doing and people celebrate.  How interesting it is that arguments didn’t occur among the “regular Christians” – only among the leaders.  The regular Christians were able to rejoice at the words of Paul and Barnabas!

Why do leaders tend to fight when regular people can get along just fine?  What does that tell us about Chrisitan life?

Third Thought:
Once Paul and Barnabas get to Jerusalem, they find more dissention.  The leaders want to mandate that circumcision is necessary to be saved.

Why is this a dangerous teaching?  What are they really saying by mandating that a person be circumcised before they are thought of as being saved?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 15:6-11
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