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Peter Explains His Actions July 22, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Acts 11:1-18.

Summary: In this passage, Peter went to Jerusalem – where he was criticized by several Jewish believers for associating with Gentiles in Caesarea. He responded by:

  • furnishing a precise account of his experiences in Joppa and Caesarea – including the fact that the angel who appeared to Cornelius stated that Peter would preach a message of salvation to his family
  • citing the authority of God in giving the Holy Spirit to Cornelius and his family – just as He had given the Holy Spirit to the Jewish believers.

The Jewish believers responded by withdrawing their accusations and praising God for His work among the Gentiles.

Thoughts: In verse 14, we see that the angel who initially appeared to Cornelius stated that Peter would bring a message of salvation to his family. I wonder when Peter learned this fact. This verse implies that Peter first heard it when he met Cornelius; if so, why did Cornelius not tell his messengers to relay it to Peter? Did God – in His infinite sovereignty and wisdom – determine that it was best to keep it from Peter until he arrived in Caesarea? I hope to probe Peter and Cornelius on this point in the next life.

In verse 18, we see that the Jewish believers withdrew their objections to Peter’s conduct in Caesarea. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point:

The outcome shows that Peter’s opponents were not moved by malice. Their example teaches us not to despise people who criticize wrongly because of misguided zeal; their conscience must be pacified by the Word of God – they are being tested to see if they are teachable.

This spurred me to consider my willingness to admit ignorance – especially in the workplace. I am fairly confident in my knowledge in certain areas; occasionally this confidence morphs into arrogance. Thus, it is difficult for me to admit weakness when it turns out that my understanding is flawed. I have heard that an admission of ignorance is a sign of humility and maturity, and so I need to be less concerned with asserting my intellectual superiority over others. I pray that God would continue to guide me in that regard so that I can be a better witness of His superiority in all things.

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