Peter Goes to a Gentile’s House – Acts 10

Caesarea_15082014S

Roman columns at Caesarea

Note: Beginning 09/02/14, this blog will be published on Tuesdays and Fridays

While he was still sorting through this, the Spirit told Peter about Cornelius’s men who were now at his gate, and told him that he was to go with them. So being led by the Spirit, Peter judiciously took some of the brothers with him for witnesses of what was to occur. When they arrived from Joppa into Caesarea, Cornelius had gathered his friends and family and fell at Peter’s feet. Whatever was in Cornelius’ heart, Peter knew it was wrong to allow that sort of worship, and rebuked him in verse 26.Clearly though, this demonstrates that Cornelius knew that (just a man or not) he was in the presence of someone who had a special purpose for the Lord.

In verses 28-29, Peter acknowledges that under Jewish tradition, coming to the house of a Gentile (let alone, eating with them) would make one ceremonially unclean, but he said “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.” So then he wanted to know why Cornelius has sent for him.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

Peter’s Vision – Acts 10

Note: Beginning 09/02/14, this blog will be published on Tuesdays and Fridays

Peter's vision_15082014

Peter’s vision of unclean animals.

After Cornelius had his vision, Peter, still at the home of Simon the tanner, had gone up onto the housetop to pray. There, he had a vision of his own that was perplexing to him at first. He had become hungry, and someone at Simon’s house was preparing him something to eat. While they were doing so, he “fell into a trance.”

The vision occurred three times, and in it all sorts of animals were descending from heaven that he was commanded to eat – some of whom were unclean by Jewish law. Peter argued at first because of this fact, but the voice said to him “What God has made clean, do not call common.” Peter would come to understand that this landmark vision was not referring just to animals and food, but also to men. It was certainly relevant to the events that were about to take place.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

Cornelius the Centurion – Acts 10

Historical re-enactor wearing replica equipmen...

Historical re-enactor wearing replica equipment of a late 1st-century centurion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Note: Beginning 09/02/14, this blog will be published on Tuesdays and Fridays

Chapter 10 opens with a bit about Cornelius of Caesarea.  He was a Gentile soldier in an Italian cohort — a centurion. A cohort could be as large as from 600 – 1000 men, with 6 centurions in charge. A centurion was paid anywhere from 5 to as much as 20 times as much as the average Roman soldier, so Cornelius was likely considered wealthy. Identified in several verses as a God-fearer, he would have been attached to a synagogue and a believer in God, but not circumcised.

In verse three, an angel came to him in a vision, telling him to send people to Joppa to have Peter brought to him. Peter had stopped in Joppa where he had raised Tabitha from the dead. Afterward, he had stayed with a man named Simon who was a Tanner that lived by the sea. Cornelius sent two of his servants and one of the soldiers who attended him personally. Verse 7 says that the soldier was “devout.” Undoubtedly, this was due to some extent, to the influence of Cornelius.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

Asa’s Folly – 2 Chronicles 16

English: Baasha of Israel was the third king o...

English: Baasha of Israel was the third king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 16 says that in the 36th year of Asa’s reign in Judah, Baasha (the king of Israel) went up against him and began building Ramah. Ramah was strategically located about 5 miles north of Jerusalem along the main road. Baasha’s goal in doing this was to prevent travel in and out of Jerusalem. So Asa took silver and gold from the treasury of the house of the Lord and took it to  the king of Syria, Ben-hadad. He reminded him of the covenant that had been between their fathers, which extended to them; and he asked him to break his covenant with Israel.

Ben-hadad complied and sent his armies to conquer cities in Israel. When Baasha heard what was going on, he dropped work on Ramah and went to salvage the rest of the country against the Syrians. When they left, Asa and his forces disassembled all that had been built in Ramah. He took all of the stones and timber from the city and he built Geba and Mizpah. Mizpah was very close to Ramah, but now it was under Asa’s control.

Hanani the seer came to Asa and rebuked him for going to the Syrians. He reminded him that because he had previously trusted in the Lord, God had given the Ethiopians and the Lybians into his hands. Because of his foolishness in not trusting the Lord, he told him, he would always have wars. Asa became angry and put the seer into prison in stocks.

Things went downhill for Asa from there, and he eventually got some disease in his feet. Gangrene? We are not told, but he died in the 41st year of his reign.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

Peter Raises Tabitha – Acts 9

Lydda_090814Peter went to the town of Lydda, where he found a man named Aenaes, who had been paralyzed for eight years. Paul, as usual, gave all the glory to the one who really healed — Jesus, saying “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” The healing caused quite stir and many conversions were made around Lydda and the surrounding Sharon.

He then ended up about 18 miles to the northwest, in the town of Joppa. There, a much-loved disciple named Tabitha (also known as Dorcas) had become ill and died. She was loved dearly because she was always doing good works for others, and lived a charitable life. When he arrived, he was taken to an upper room where the washed body had been taken. There were widows there who showed Paul their tunics that Dorcas had made for them, demonstrating her charitable nature.

Paul raised her from the dead, and word spread quickly, resulting in many more conversions. Peter remained for several days there in the house of Simon the Tanner.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

Saul Goes to Caesarea – Acts 9

Caesarea_090814Saul left Damascus for Jerusalem. He wanted to join the disciples there, but they were understandably afraid of him. It was Barnabas, who we met at the end of chapter 4, who spoke in Paul’s defense to the apostles. He told them of Saul’s conversion, how it had happened., and how he had been preaching the gospel.

So now Saul went in and out among them at will, as he continued preaching about Jesus. Verse 29 speaks of how he disputed against the Hellenists. Obviously, this was a different group of Hellenists from those spoken of in Acts 6:1. These were Jews who had not been converted, and they were plotting to kill Saul, presumably for his “change of allegiance” as much as for anything else. So the brothers had to get him out of there. They took him to Caesarea and sent him on his way to Tarsus.

So according to verse 31, the church all over Judea, Galilee, and Samaria then had peace and began to grow and many were filled with the Spirit.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

Saul Preaches Christ as the Son of God – Acts 9

In verses 19-20, we find the man who had ravaged the church and approved of the deaths of Christians, including that of Stephen  preaching in the synagogue and declaring that Jesus is the Son of God. This naturally amazed and bewildered a great many people. Such a turnaround in such a short time must have been difficult to comprehend.

Saul_basket_090814Verse 22 says that he “confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.” How was Saul proving that Jesus was that Messiah that they had awaited so long? He was filed with the Spirit, and he was using the Scripture. He had the eyewitness accounts of the apostles. And now, he had his own account of what had happened to him, which would be very convincing as he declared that Jesus (whose very name he had despised) was Lord and Christ.

But not everyone was happy about Saul’s conversion. Verse 23 says that the Jews were plotting to kill him. The Jews referred to, we can naturally assume, were the chief priests and scribes — some of whom for which he had acquired letters in Jerusalem giving him authority to arrest Christians.  Now they watched the gates day and night waiting to kill him. But his disciples helped him escape quietly, lowering Saul in a basket through an opening in the wall. His time in Damascus, for now, was coming to an end.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Saul’s Baptism – Acts 9

Now in Damascus for three days after the encounter on the road which left him blind, Saul did not eat or drink anything. The Lord told a man named Ananias (in a vision) to “go to the street called Straight,” to find Saul and restore his sight. Ananias protested, reminding the Lord of all he had done to the Christians in Jerusalem, stating that he had full authority to do the same to anyone in Damascus.

English: Damascus, street called straight

English: Damascus, street called straight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the Lord told him that Saul had been chosen by Him to carry His name “before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” Saul would of course do exactly that, as we will see throughout the book of Acts. But it is significant to note that his purpose, beyond evangelizing the Gentiles,  included doing so not just for kings (and presumably an emperor). He was to do so to the children of Israel themselves. And Saul (Paul) will do plenty of that as well.

Then the Lord told Ananias that He will show Saul how much he must suffer for the sake of His name. God’s word never mentions a statement from God or Jesus that has no meaning. So it is appropriate to consider that Saul would have a very good idea of what was in store for him the rest of his days, as his life was changing forever.

Ananias reluctantly agreed to go. And as he laid his hands on Saul and told him what the Lord had told him to do in verse 17, verse 18 says that “something like scales fell from his eyes” and his sight was restored. That phenomenon is not explained because it does not need to be. The entire ordeal was certainly miraculous. But the real miracle was that this man who had caused the death of so many Christians was then baptized into Christ.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and social media contacts.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

Saul Goes Hunting – Acts 9

As chapter 8 opened, we had Saul of Tarsus (in Luke’s words) “ravaging the church,” literally dragging people out of their homes, and taking them to prison – all for being Christians. And thus began the scattering of the church to other regions. Chapter 9 opens with these two verses which speak volumes:

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

The statement in that opening phrase demonstrates the venomous heart Saul had against those who followed Jesus. He believed in his heart

the Conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus...

the Conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus as painted by Michelangelo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

that the disciples were blasphemous against God and all that he had been taught his whole life; and he wanted nothing less than to crush them. Having made a very good start at doing so in Jerusalem was no longer enough. Now he wanted to go to Damascus to hunt down those who had escaped to that location, as well as any who may have already been there. Verse two marks the first time the Bible refers to Christians as belonging to “the Way.” “The Way” was a name used for Christianity during those times. Luke uses the name in Acts (Acts 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14,22).

On the way to Damascus, a bright light from heaven fell upon Saul — strong enough to bring him to the ground, and he was blinded. Jesus spoke to him, saying “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He was told to go into the city, where he would be told what to do. Verse 7 says that the men with him stood speechless, “hearing the voice but seeing no one.” This is another passage that skeptics try to use as a contradiction. Paul gives his own account of this in Acts 22:9, saying that those men “saw the light but did not understand the voice…” Ironically, such skeptics, by seeing this as a contradiction, prove that it is possible to hear (and read) without understanding.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

 

Azariah the Prophet Speaks to Asa – 2 Chronicles 8

English: Asa destroys the idols and forbids wo...

English: Asa destroys the idols and forbids worship in local shrines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Spirit of God visited Azariah the prophet so that he would go talk to the newest king, Asa. He told hi how that God would be with him as long as he was with God. But if he forsakes the Lord, God will forsake him. As soon as Asa heard this prophecy, he got rid of the idols from Judah and Benjamin, as well as from the cities that he had taken.

And he gathered the people of Judah and Benjamin together and related these things, no doubt making clear to them that things would be different now concerning God. And many others who learned that the Lord was with him, came to live under his rule as well. Asa even removed his own mother, Maacah from being queen accuse she had made an idol to Ashera. He crushed and burned her idol as well.

He did not take away the high places, however. But verse 17 says: “Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days.” He showed God respect, and he brought sacred gifts into the House of God,. As a result of Asa’s actions, there was no more war until the 35th year of his reign.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.