Wednesday, December 16, 2009

THE UNCLEAN GENTILES


We all know in biblical times the Hebrew Christians thought of Gentiles as unclean and had nothing to do with them according to the law Moses had set forth.



That was all about to change when Jesus stopped Saul ( Paul) on the road to Damascus and asked those famous words " Saul ! Saul! why are you persecuting me?" (Acts 9: 3 - 17). In these passages Jesus explains to Ananias that Saul was to be his instrument to preach to the Gentiles and kings as well as the Israelites.



Now comes Peter a devout follower of Jewish law. As he was praying on a roof top, he fell into a trance and out of the heavens came down a large sheet held up by four corners.In this vision there was all sorts of animals on this sheet. A voice spoke to Peter to kill the animals and eat them. Naturally he rebuked the order stating he could not eat what is unclean according to Jewish law. The voice then stated " Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean". The vision was repeated three times before being pulled back up into the heavens. (Acts10:9-16). What was the voice trying to convey to Peter? If God made it, it was clean ( man or beast)?



About this time the Holy Spirit spoke to Peter saying 3 men have come seeking him and go with them quickly as he had sent them because Cornelius ( A Roman officer and a Gentile) that was summoned by an angel to seek him. Peter went with them to the home of Cornelius in Caesarea where Cornelius had gathered all his relatives , friends, and servants to hear of Jesus and God. It is then that Peter finally realized what that vision on the roof top meant when he made the statement about associating with Gentiles. (Acts 10:34 -43).



Many that day were blessed with the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, and were baptised in Jesus name. This totally surprised Peter that Gentiles could also receive the Lords blessings. As the word spread about the incident at Cornelius' home, Saul ( now Paul) and Barnabus was also preaching to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles who better received his words over the Jewish people in one town. The Jewish people incited a riot and ran them out of town, through jealousy of preaching Gods grace to the Gentiles. Paul and Barnibus were better received in other towns as they made their way back to the council in Jerusalem. Gentiles along the way were converted and baptised. So in actuality, I stand corrected in my assumption that it was Paul only that brought the word of Jesus to the Gentiles. It was Peter, Barnabus and Paul that introduced Jesus to the Gentiles. The three gave their testimony to the council in Jerusalem about the Gentiles hearing the word of God and believing just as Jesus had instructed the Apostle's to do. ( Acts15 ).



From that meeting, came the agreement to share with the Gentiles the word of God's prophecies and the word of Jesus with out the traditional customs of the Jewish faith to all that would believe and repent of their sins. A letter was sent out to the new believers out lining what was expected and guidelines to follow much to the joy of the Gentiles.



What joy it is to realize that Jesus chose to include the Gentiles as His followers and share the word of the Lord so that so many more can become a part of the Body of Christ. We are certainly blessed and should give thanks and praise to His Holy name for allowing us to worship Him.

14 comments:

JD Curtis said...

What joy it is to realize that Jesus chose to include the Gentiles as His followers and share the word of the Lord so that so many more can become a part of the Body of Christ. We are certainly blessed and should give thanks and praise to His Holy name for allowing us to worship Him.

No truer words were ever spoken. I am lost without Him.

photogr said...

Jd Curtis:

I seem to sense that and you have the patience of a saint.Some thing that I need a little work on. That and temperment are my weak points. Perhaps I will be led to overcome that soon.

Through faith in the Lord you can ovecome all obstacals.

Ginx said...

Who can forget the day pagans took over Christianity?

photogr said...

Ginx:

Who can forget the time a pagan mad man ( Hitler) killed 6 million Jews or a another sadist pagan (Stalin) killed 12 million of his own people.

Between the three mentioned, I think pagans taking over Christianity is the lesser of the three. At least the pagans were converted to Christianity and followed it's teachings.

JD Curtis said...

(Stalin) killed 12 million of his own people

Nahh, Stalin was a practitioner of Ginx's non-theistic, functional religion.

Ginx said...

All I did was point out pagan philosophy (especially Platonic and later Stoic) was introduced into Christian theology.

It's nice to see you guys almost read history.

Hitler: Christian
Stalin: Probably Atheist, though raised Christian

Not trying to start a discussion about whose leaders killed more people - Christians by virtue of time, but give atheists a chance! We've only had a century. Law of probability, and all.

photogr said...

JD:

So that is what it was. And all this time I thought he was nuts.

At least Christianity teaches peace and love to others whether they deserve it or not.

photogr said...

Ginx:

The Stoics had a good philosophy towards others but it was missing something. It was incomplete. Many converted to Christianity that were introduced to it because of the teachings were close to their beliefs. Christianity just added the extra touch and salvation.

Athiest have been around for more than a hundred years I would imagine. I have studied some of their principles but I could not follow it. By experience, I have found Christianity more fitting to me and that is what I am. Scientology was a bad fit, Humanist theory was a bad fit, and Mystics was a bad fit.

The Bible has over 1,000 prophesies. Over 600 have already come to pass. The latest was when Israel became a nation again in 1948 just as God had predicted over 2000 years ago. That is a pretty good batting average in my book. That is why I follow the Christian doctrin. I have experienced the miracles in this faith so I am hooked forever.

I don't denounce you for being an Athiest. That is your choice. I do hope you may change your thinking some day. You could present some strong arguments for Christianity if you became a believer I feel.

Then again that is your choice. I am not pushing my beliefs onto you. Just giving you some alternatives.

Take care.

Ginx said...

Phew, just glad you're not Scientologist.

photogr said...

GInx:

I know what you mean.

Tracy said...

I've been so busy this week (with my son and his wife-to-be coming and visiting!!)that I haven't had the chance to visit blogs like I typically do. Glad that I had the chance today to read yours.

I am very grateful that God chose to extend His plan to include us Gentiles.

photogr said...

Tracy:

I am greatful too. More so in these last few years when I was made aware of the gifts and the Holy Spirit which wasn't mentioned or practiced in prior churches I had attended.

Sharee said...

AMEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

photogr said...

Sharee:

Amen indeed. Thanks for dropping by.