I'm not good about blogging over the weekends, sorry!
Saturday, Sunday, and Today's reading takes us through 3 chapters of Acts.
Chapter 9 starts with the story of how Saul became a follower of Jesus. We had read about Saul previously- he approved of the stoning of Stephen, he was separating and dispersing the followers of Jesus, having people arrested (which I assume included mistreatment, beatings, etc).
Saul is on his way to Damascus to arrest followers of Jesus and send them to Jerusalem. Just before he arrives in Damascus, he sees a bright light and hears Jesus. He is then blind for 3 days.
Jesus then calls Ananias to go to Saul. Ananias is afraid of Saul but is assured by Jesus, through a vision, that Saul is expecting him. Ananias does as he is asked, goes to Saul, and Saul's eyesight returns and he is filled with the Holy Spirit.
Saul began preaching to the Jewish people in Damascus but they didn't trust him because they knew what his purpose had been in coming to Damascus. He has to sneak away from the city.
Saul returns to Jerusalem and joins the followers.
Next follows several miracles performed by Peter.
32While Peter was traveling from place to place, he visited the Lord's followers who lived in the town of Lydda. 33There he met a man named Aeneas, who for eight years had been sick in bed and could not move. 34Peter said to Aeneas, "Jesus Christ has healed you! Get up and make up your bed." [b] Right away he stood up. 35Many people in the towns of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas and became followers of the Lord.
Peter also raises a woman named Dorcas from the dead.
This is the story of Peter and Cornelius.
Instead of just detailing the story, there are verses that caught my eye. The important point of the story is that Jesus isn't just for the Jewish people. Cornelius was a Gentile and a very devout man. The Jewish people did not believe that a Gentile could be a follower.
Acts 10: 28b
But God has shown me that he doesn't think anyone is unclean or unfit.
Also, Acts 10: 34-35
34Peter then said:
Now I am certain that God treats all people alike. 35God is pleased with everyone who worships him and does right, no matter what nation they come from.
Of all the verses in the Bible that people choose to take and force into their own agenda, I think these are verses that should be used more often. Instead of finding ways in the Bible to excluse and judge people, let's cling to these verses and accept and love ALL people. God is please with everyone who worships him and does right, no matter what nation they come from. He doesn't find anyone unfit or unclean. He treats all people the same. Now those are POWERFUL ideas!
Basically wraps up what had happened with Peter and Cornelius. Also tells about the followers preaching to Gentiles and the word spreading.
Most of the reading of Acts has been like a history lesson for me. Story telling of what happened after the ascension. But I love that I found something in this book of the Bible that supports what I believe my faith is based on! Love and acceptance of all people because all people are God's people. None of us are unclean or unfit!
Until tomorrow (Acts 12)