Pass It On

November 16th, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by Ben Lamb

Today’s scripture: Acts 15:22-35 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Ben Lamb):

Let’s see here: where’d we leave off from yesterday? “Certain individuals” were telling the Jesus followers of Antioch that it was necessary to hang on to parts of Moses’ teachings in order to comply with the plan of salvation that God revealed through Jesus Christ. Hmmm. . . apparently “certain individuals” overlooked the fact that Jesus himself did not make such a demand. Trying to improve upon Jesus, were they?

How about we put ourselves in the place of the believers at Antioch for a moment? We’re new Christians. We aren’t familiar with the Jewish laws since we weren’t brought up in that manner. Now, “certain individuals” are telling us that, in order to be proper adherents to our newly-found religion, we must follow certain key parts of another religion. I don’t know about you, but I’d be confused and troubled, too!

So, it fell to another group — the apostles and elders of Jerusalem (the “mother” church) — to clean up the confusion which “certain individuals” had caused. (Don’t you just hate it when you have to clean up someone else’s mess — especially when it’s avoidable in the first place?) But they seemed to be of the opinion that, in an instance where someone’s spiritual life is concerned, it’s worth going the extra mile. Sounds rather Christ-like to me.

Now, what’s the situation so far for us Antioch residents? Wrong info is being handed out to us. We’re being saddled with a bunch of unnecessary rules and regulations. What’s a mother church to do for us in a situation such as this? Oh yes: clarify matters for us. That would be very good, indeed.

So, at this point, we — being the Antioch citizens who aren’t confused anymore — are now rejoicing!

This group of caring individuals had concern for others and took the time to help them. That reminds me of the fact that God showed concern for humans and took the time to help us by sending Jesus to us. Jesus showed concern for humans and, among other things, sent the Holy Spirit to help us.

Thought for the day: Am I keeping the momentum going by demonstrating a caring attitude and helping others, too?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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