Takeaway Verse: Acts 11:18
When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, ‘We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.’
Welcome to The Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica Parkerson. This is the place where we meet up to read half a chapter of God’s word together and remember how loved we are. Jesus extends an amazing invitation to us in the Bible. He says, “Come to me and I WILL give you rest.” This is us RSVPing: Yes!! to that invitation. So take a deep breath, and let’s get started.
Today’s episode is called, “Peter for President of the Debate Club”. Before we dive into Acts chapter 11, would you join me in a word of prayer? Father, we just come to you in the name of Jesus and I’m wearing a shawl today. Lord, would you just place your shawl of peace on our shoulders today? Lord, we are in fact busy people, and we’ve always got so many gnats buzzing around in our minds. Gnats represent things like the stuff we need to do, the things we wish we hadn’t done. And Lord, so I just pray that you would just wave those gnats away and lay your shawl of peace on our shoulders and open our hearts to what you want us to understand in your beautiful word today. Thank you for Luke, the doctor, the reporter who wrote these words down. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Oh, the name of Jesus. It’s just so beautiful to even hear your name spoken aloud. It’s in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Okay. Are you ready? Acts chapter 11. “Soon, the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles” the non-Jews “had received the word of God. But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. ‘You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!’ They said.” They were very incensed. “Then Peter told them exactly what had happened. ‘I was in the town of Joppa.’ He said, ‘and while I was praying, I went into a trance and saw a vision. Something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners from the sky. And it came right down to me. When I looked inside the sheet, I saw all sorts of tame and wild animals, reptiles and birds. And I heard a voice say, ‘Get up Peter; kill and eat them.’ No Lord. I replied, I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure or unclean, but the voice from heaven spoke again, ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.’ This happened three times before the sheet and all it contained was pulled back to heaven.'”
Peter gives a recap to his friends who are criticizing him. “‘Just then three men'” he continues to report “‘who had been sent from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were staying. The Holy Spirit told me to go with them”‘. Isn’t that awesome. ‘”And not to worry that they were Gentiles. These six brothers here accompanied me and we soon entered the home of the man who had sent for us. He told us how an angel had appeared to him in his home and had told him, ‘Send messengers to Joppa and summon a man named Simon Peter. He will tell you how you and everyone in your household can be saved! As I began to speak'” Peter continued, “‘the Holy Spirit fell on them just as he fell on us at the beginning. Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized with water,'” John, the Baptist, ‘”but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit’. And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?'” Here’s our takeaway verse, verse 18. “When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, ‘We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.'” Isn’t that beautiful?
This is why I’m like, Peter for president of the debate club! He laid it out. He stated the facts and his friends believed. It reminds me of a story. When I worked at a daycare in Charlotte, North Carolina, many years ago. I was about 18, 19 years old and the kids were lovely, but I didn’t know anything about kids at that point. So we would take the kids out onto the playground and it was North Carolina. It was hot in the summer. And so every once in a while, I’d take the kids inside for a potty break and I would give them apple juice. And one day, one of my fellow teachers pulled me aside and said, hey, Erica, we don’t give the kids apple juice, cuz it’s got sugar. Usually when we bring them inside, we give them water. And I stood there on the playground. I thought, okay, I could be offended here. You know, I was kind of embarrassed. I thought, no, wait. I just didn’t know. So I said, thank you. I will give them water from now on. I heard the teacher out and I responded like, okay, I get it. And so Peter laid out his case, explained how an angel had come to Cornelius and how God through the Holy Spirit prepared his heart, that the message of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross and his resurrection was for Jews and Gentiles. He explained all of it. And his friends were like, okay, we get it. You’re right. It’s for everybody. It’s for everybody. Everybody is invited into God’s family. It’s a beautiful thing. All right. Till next time, remember, you are so welcome in God’s family, and you are loved.
Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at onpurposely.com.