Peter is Criticized – Acts 11

Statue of st. Peter

Statue of st. Peter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As chapter 10 concluded, Cornelius, his family, and his friends received the Holy Spirit. Then “they asked him to remain for some days.” By the time Peter returned to Jerusalem, news that the Gentiles also had received the word of God had already spread back to the other apostles and the brothers and sisters throughout Judea. In verse 2, Peter was getting criticism from what the ESV calls the “circumcision party” But other versions say that the criticism came from “those of the circumcision.” Their indignation was at Peter having eaten with these uncircumcised Gentiles.

It should be remembered that Peter had that same attitude before his vision and before the conversion of Cornelius and his family. Indeed, that was the attitude of most of the church before the Jerusalem conference in chapter 15. Even after The conversion of Cornelius, Peter withdrew from the gentile believers for a while out of fear of the circumcision party. And Paul speaks of rebuking him for this in Galatians 2:11-12.

Then in verses 4-18, Peter relates the vision, the command from the Spirit to go to Cornelius, and the entire conversion story. Upon hearing that the Holy Spirit had fallen on these gentiles, they had no choice but to concede that “to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

(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 this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks 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.

 

 

 

Jehoshaphat! – 2 Chronicles 17

Statues of Josaphat and Ezechias on the Monast...

Statues of Josaphat and Ezechias on the Monastery of El Escorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not many people know much about king Asa’s son Jehoshaphat, except that the name has been used in the phrase “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!” There is a lot of speculation about where that phrase came from, and if you query any search engine, you will come across some very entertaining attempts to explain it. None that I have seen seem very likely, though. It is just possible that it became popular because it is phonetically pleasing as a substitute for swearing.

As king, Jehoshaphat worked hard to strengthen Judah against the northern kingdom. He set garrisons and occupied cities all over, including some that his father had captured. Unlike his father, the Lord was with him, the scripture tells us in verse 3, and did not “seek the Baals.”  With God’s help, he grew strong in power and in riches.

verse 7 says that in the third year of his reign, he sent several men, including Obadiah, around to teach the Book of the Law in all the cities of Judah. Verse 10 says that all of the kingdoms around Judah feared them during his reign, and none of them bothered Judah. In fact, verse 11 says that the Philistines, of all people, “brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute, and the Arabians also brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats.”

(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.

 


 

 

 

Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit – Acts 10

Traditional site of the house of Simon the Tanner. Joppa, today called Jaffa, was once the seaport for Jerusalem. Hiram sent cedar logs from Lebanon to King Solomon for the Temple, floating them to Joppa (2 Chronicles 2:15). From Joppa the prophet Jonah ran away from God ( Book of Jonah), sailing from there toward Tarshish. Here Peter raised Tabitha, or Dorcas, from the dead (Acts 9:36-42). Later he was staying here at the house of Simon the Tanner when he saw a vision of unclean animals, which led him to visit Cornelius' house in Caesarea and win him to Christ. This is the traditional site of the home of Simon the Tanner.

Traditional site of the house of Simon the Tanner. Joppa, today called Jaffa, was once the seaport for Jerusalem. Hiram sent cedar logs from Lebanon to King Solomon for the Temple, floating them to Joppa (2 Chronicles 2:15). From Joppa the prophet Jonah ran away from God ( Book of Jonah), sailing from there toward Tarshish. Here Peter raised Tabitha, or Dorcas, from the dead (Acts 9:36-42). Later he was staying here at the house of Simon the Tanner when he saw a vision of unclean animals, which led him to visit Cornelius’ house in Caesarea and win him to Christ. This is the traditional site of the home of Simon the Tanner.

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

After Peter finished preaching to the house of Cornelius,  the Holy Spirit fell upon all present. The baptism of the Holy Spirit had previously been done directly from God to only the apostles, with it given to others only through the apostles by their “laying on hands.” But now, to the amazement of all circumcised believers who had come with Peter (verse 45), this second baptism was being poured out even to Gentiles.

Peter, acknowledging the gift that was given to them, then commanded that they be baptized with water as well. Peter’s perspective had changed forever concerning non-Jews. Now the Lord’s Kingdom would grow even faster! But this new perspective would not come without some resistance to change.

(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 Preaches the Gospel to Cornelius – Acts 10

Stained glass window based on Acts 10.

Stained glass window based on Acts 10. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Peter had told Cornelius of how the Spirit had pointed him toward their meeting. So then Cornelius told him of his vision, and that all present were commanded to hear what Peter has to say.  With that, Peter preaches to them about the gospel of Jesus Christ. There will be much more discussion about Gentiles in the kingdom of the Lord before the “Jerusalem Conference” of chapter 15, but Peter’s mind on the subject is made up already, it appears. In verses 34-35, he says “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

The gospel that he then preaches to Cornelius and those present at his house is the same as that preached to all of the people who are converted in Acts and all who are taught today. God sent him, he was crucified for us, and God raised Him from the dead on the third day. And he finishes with these words “all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

(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 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.