BPotW Acts 10: The Good News is for Everyone

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Bible Passage of the Week
The story of Peter on the roof and Cornelius, the Roman Commander, repeats the concept of Jesus being for everyone.

Here is the link to this reading (Message translation) on Bible Gateway: Bible Gateway passage: Acts 10 - The Message

My summary and an additional comment are in the following posts.

Here is my message delivered today on this passage.

The Good News is for Everyone

The Book of Acts of the Apostles was written by the author of Luke about 30 to 60 years after Jesus died. We do not know ,which stories are historical, which are legends, and which are creations of the author. Today’s reading reflects the theology of the author, that the community of followers of Jesus was to include everyone, a theology that goes back to Mary’s song near the beginning of the Book of Luke.

It sort of contradicts Paul’s letters in which he describes his fight with Peter and the rest of the council in Jerusalem in which he argued for the inclusion of Gentiles without requiring them to be circumcised while the Council, including Peter, insisted on them being circumcised to be Jews before they could be part of the community.

Whatever the truthfulness of its telling, the story is true in declaring none of God’s creations including people is unclean, unacceptable to God..

The point of the story was the call to include all people. Christians also used this story to eliminate Jewish food laws.

Many churches are committed to being inclusive congregations, to welcome anyone and everyone. This is not easy because of human nature, of being inclined to divide people into us and others.

All in the Family and The Jeffersons were popular sitcoms in the 1970s.Many white people identified more closely with the Jeffersons, the Black family, that they did with Archie Bunkier. Being educated was more important as a group identifier than race.

Teachers usually push students with ability to go for a University education and generally seem to see people with a university education as being better in an intellectual way than trades people.

Sheldon, in Big Bang Theory, sees theoretical physics as most important and his girlfriend Amy sees neurological pathways research as the most important.

Black lesbians resent their mistreatment by white lesbians. Transgender people experienced attacks from people who are homosexual.

The Hockey Sweater is a sad story about getting a Maple Leafs sweater in a Montreal community.

Working at being truly inclusive requires continues reflection on how we respond to other people, noticing the boundaries we hold in identifying ourselves, and being open to knowing other people well enough to understand their needs and aspirations.

We cannot be all things to all people as anything we do will bother someone or cause a disconnect. My referring to television shows is a disconnect with wise people who chose to ignore that medium, though they help me connect to the many who do watch TV.

When I attended a three day workshop in 1999 about the Magnetic Church, the core message was radical acceptance of people.

The presenter referred to the acceptance of the singing by a person with a mental handicap that signalled everyone else that they could be accepted by the congregation.

The presenter described Saturday evening, beginning with a meal before worship, as demonstrating accepting the needs of young families by choosing to gather at a time that best met their needs, 22 years ago. A large minority of households at that time, and still, were and are single family households. Sunday is the loneliest day of the week for many single people. Holding a late afternoon worship service on Sunday afternoons followed by going to a restaurant to share a meal showed acceptance of them by addressing their need for an opportunity to socialize.

This congregation will be welcoming Amanda Alley as your next minister in partnership with Sheldon and their family. As you hope their ministry will help you grow your ministry here, I hope you will be open to changes that will show acceptance of the needs of people not participating at this time in your ministry.

There are several versions of inclusivity. In our reading from Acts, inclusivity meant allowing Gentiles to join them in their community. For Hillhurst United, inclusivity means radical hospitality: whoever you are, however you are dressed, you are welcome to join our worship and share in our offering of snacks and beverages as well as share your story.

Inclusivity at many churches such as DRCC includes a sound system for people with hearing impairments and an entrance and washroom for people with mobility issues.

What else might you be able to do to demonstrate you are an open, welcoming, and diverse fellowship exploring and striving to live the all-encompassing love of Jesus? Who does not feel currently included? Why?

Our prelude today was “They will know we are Christians by our love”. What you do to help others feel included, welcomed and cared for are outward signs of your love.

Love yourselves and love others with boldness, openness, and confidence in the power and wisdom provided by the Holy Mystery. Amen.
 

jimkenney12

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Here is my summary. In this story, Cornelius, a Roman, gets a message from God to send a messenger to get Peter. At the same time, Peter has a vision about angels lowering a sheet holding a variety of animals that Jews are not allowed to eat and a voice says, "Eat." Peter replies that he is not allowed to eat them and gets the reply that everything God makes is clean. The scene repeats itself 3 times and then Peter is told a messenger is coming to fetch him. He is to go with that messenger. The messenger arrives, invites Peter to go to see Cornelius. Peter agrees and they leave the next morning. Peter and his companions arrive and are welcomed. Their stories are exchanged and then the Holy Spirit comes on the household of Cornelius and they start talking in tongues. Peter challenges his companions to accept that God has declared that these Gentiles belong in their community and he baptizes them.
 

jimkenney12

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I watched the first lecture of a series of 23 lectures this week sponsored by Convergence and Front Line. In it Diane Butler-Bass spoke about themes related to her books Grounded and Freeing Jesus. I will be making a major revision in my message that we will record this afternoon. I also want to change my summary of the passage to finish with the folowing sentence. Peter and the other members of the community around Jesus tried to establish the Jewishness of Jesus as a boundary around relating to him. With an insight from a lecture by Diana Butler Bass, I believe the passage also points to releasing Jesus from any other boundaries we try to draw around him.
 

Redbaron

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Sort of like Peter, in earlier years I thought the Gospel was Good News for everyone, so long as 'they' conformed to our ideas of what Christians looked/ acted/ spoke/ thought/ etc. like, IOW like 'us.' I've gotten over that hurdle, but it still pops up once in awhile unexpectedly. I do believe it IS about setting Jesus free to be Jesus, rather than to continue to try to limit Jesus to our own preferences.
 

Luce NDs

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Jesus in some terms said to be an innate light for those with external perspective (extant).

Has the light left some wanting and willful ... thus indicating psychosomatic conditions or the walking dead (la*Zairian glow) appreciative of no mystery whatsoever? Thus the two sides of the sacred twinned expression ... did heh muse over it or mess with it as Didymus? This would mean nothing to those ignoring metaphors of the following end ... a hind, ox, or donkey carriers ... oz sum? The integral of the cos Mose as clearly near nothing overhead but a few flighty sparkles ... generating need for psyche expression as ethos! Humanity those continues ... often sadistically in need ... all of that 'sin human?

Imagine the abstract drive to share light that is generally (commonly) incomprehensible without that smoldering curiosity to know more of everything integrated as GOD?
G --- gamma, dark
O --- omicron, oh-my-crone
D --- Delta, upset is a mountain on end, general difference in this domain of individual sects!

Then they may impact one another in beautiful roué ... maybe not ... our choice under the free condition of making our own mistakes and not blaming the alternate ... a Marah extensive po' ... Poe ... pool to look into? Writ oddly as common folk are not given literary license ... only trans iterative potential! It still remains a mystery that powers lie about substantially ... watch heads of nations, business and sacred gatherings for what is denied ... mostly medial matters ... the great between? Agape ... something to get over or through ...

Few will grasp for this grip ... leading to circular logic and thus it must be repeated as if Peter's out ... barking at the dogs on the roof ... of Rome? Kahn*is ... then there is Kathero*in ... dumbs the senses ... as if disseminating and dispersing word ... bit by bit ... humans are not receptive of the entire study at once! Yet someday a flash ... and we see the story has eternal depth ... leaving us unknown about the ups and downs in abstract space --- Einstein!

Creative continuum? Go way with that ... some are stoically stopped up! Corked ...
 
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paradox3

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I am liking Cornelius very much. He is a devout man, along with his whole household.

So what does he do as a devout man? He performs acts of charity for his people and he prays to God regularly.

We could do worse.
 

BetteTheRed

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What I find sort of interesting about the story is how God engineers the whole thing. Visions to Peter, angels to Cornelius, arranging a meeting. Then the holy spirit gets involved. This is "the trinity at work"...
 

paradox3

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What I find sort of interesting about the story is how God engineers the whole thing. Visions to Peter, angels to Cornelius, arranging a meeting. Then the holy spirit gets involved. This is "the trinity at work"...
Hadn't thought of it as a Trinitarian story but you are absolutely right. It begins with the call from God to a righteous man; then we have Peter's lesson about Jesus' life and resurrection; and finally we see the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Interesting that there is not more focus on sin and salvation in a tale about the early church.
 

Luce NDs

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Sin is often denied by some authorities that use it to individualized benefit in reality exposures!

Then when the facts are exposed (bear with me) the lesser folk are found to blame ... albeit by rational of unknowing leadership!

If you don't believe such lies in real life your up against a hard organization ... western Mafiosi? Questioning is Putin an obscure position proving that words that mean nothing can be warped ...

One has to listen up to the impossible dream that psyche is a spirit beyond reality in a far domain of virtue that is alien to winners in the games ... especially dark politics ... gamos? It Oozes ... like legitimacy from licensed plumes ... on the other hand left virtue ... lost in the passing spirit of the sense of balance of justice, mercy and humility ... in the rush to be a winner! Amos 'đisgusting trend ... in heated and Kohl Aired winds ... Eire and Aaron!

Some can't observe distasteful thoughts in Night Air! General affection is a turn down ... thus the disadvantaged must go ... squeezed and juiced for all they've got! Like wee chimera under the big wheels as they turn on us ... to autonomous advantage ... foundations thus erode from under humanity!

Can sin be industrialized? The destruction of one of: mind, body and emotion in the triangular balance wipes out the entire item of conception ...

Forget duality ... there's more to it ...
 
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paradox3

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More on the Trinitarian theme. The number 3 pops up in a few places. Three o'clock in the afternoon, Peter's vision happens 3 times, 3 men are looking for Peter.
 

Luce NDs

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Nein in our thoughts as thoughts are deposed ... there ven is an icon of *** ... apostrophesX3!

Few have the wiles to read depth of the nonsense! Thoughts too ... are often nothing to the overly emotional ... wildly passionate?

Thus Christ's water ... place to cool it? Everyone needs a fantasy pool ... thus the abstract one ... an alternate?

Justice imagined ...
 

paradox3

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What would Cornelius have believed about God prior to his encounter with the angel?

As a gentile, why would the whole Jewish nation speak well of him? (v. 22)
 

Mendalla

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What would Cornelius have believed about God prior to his encounter with the angel?

As a gentile, why would the whole Jewish nation speak well of him? (v. 22)
Likely before he was assigned to Judaea, Cornelius was a Roman pagan, so believed in the classical pantheon, sacrificed to the Jupiter, Neptune, etc. at the appropriate times and such. He could have been involved with one of the mysteries (Eleusinian cult, Isis, Mithras, etc.), too, which might have predisposed him to accepting things like a Saviour and messages from angels. They leaned into a more personal form of religion than the general run of Roman religion. As a soldier, I would think maybe Mithraism, but I'm not sure if that was popular yet in this period. For a time, it was the dominant religion in the army and had some parallels with Christianity, including a ritual meal. This is all speculative though since the story doesn't really say.

It sounds, though, like he embraced the Jewish idea of God to some degree after living in Judaea for a time.

As for the Jews speaking well of Cornelius, that likely signifies that he was a rare Roman who respected their tradition. Let's not forget that the Romans were more about assimilation than inclusivity and the Jews failure to accept Roman practices as the Celts and others did had been a source of friction since before this time. Pilate once nearly set off a Jewish revolt by trying to put Roman standards, which included symbols of the pagan gods, in the temple precinct. So a Roman officer who accepted, and even embraced, their beliefs and treated them with respect would likely generate some positive buzz.
 
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unsafe

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The Book of Acts is a Book of 2 transitions ------it is a very important Book because for the first time the Gentile Nation is about to be introduced into God's free gift of Salvation which gives the Gentile people who want participate in this free gift --eternal life ---it is also a transition from the Old Covenant of the law to the New Covenant of Grace ----

Some of the Gentiles did convert to Judaism and were known as Proselytes -----Cornelius was one such person ---

Read here ---I am just posting this sentence ----

Accordingly, in New Testament times, we read of proselytes in the synagogues, (Acts 10:2,

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Cornelius was a Roman centurion ----Who was well received by the Jewish community --he and his family were devout God fearing people --Cornelius prayed to God and gave generously to people in need ------

This is important to know because this shows that he already knew of God and he was following the law of giving and his heart was in the right place to please God and pray to God ------ Cornelius was Religious but not saved

So we need to understand that the Jewish Nation was Religious but not saved -----they did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah nor did they believe He died and was resurrected ----God chose the Jewish Nation as His chosen people to obey and serve Him only -----No one who died in the Old Testament went to heaven -----except Jesus ----

The First Gentile Conversion is in the works ---God has put His Plan into Motion to open the door for His free gift of Salvation to be available to Jews and Gentiles alike ------

God sends Cornelius a message and he obeys ---this is very important as God here was testing Cornelius's faith to obey His instructions -----God was leading him and opening up his heart to and receive the Good News from Peter so that he could be Saved -------

Understanding Peter's roll in this is important as well ------Peter was preaching the Gospel to Jews only ----in Chapter 9 Saul is converted and becomes Paul --Paul is the one God Chose to preach the Good News to the Gentile Nation not Peter but God chooses Peter to go to Cornelius -----So when Peter has his trance and sees the sheet with all the unclean animals and is told to eat it ---he rejects because he would be following the food laws still that were laid out in Leviticus -----

Now understanding that Acts is the first Chapter of the New Testament --Peter has not yet got it that he is not under the laws now but under Grace ---so God in this trance or vision is saying to Peter --it is OK to eat these animals now as God has changed them from Unclean to Clean --Peter still doesn't get it --till later on ----when he gets to Cornelius -----Also the Jews were very particular about no entering a Gentile home as it was considered unclean to associate with a non Jew ----Peter finally obeys God and goes to Cornelius with some other Believers ------Also Peter was a witness to the actual events that took place with Jesus and could testify to the reality of what Jesus did on the Cross for all people ------

I say ---------It is really neat the way God uses His Vision here with Peter to tie in with what Peter still sees as unclean to bring him to the realisation that what was once seen as unclean is to be changed to being clean in God's eyes -----even as Peter the man stills sees it as it was in the past time ---which was done away with when Jesus died and brought in the New --but still remained in the mind of Peter ------and for many still remains today -----like many believing doing good works will save you ----no need for Jesus -----just treat your neighbour right and that will be enough -----or go to church every Sunday or pray for hours a day ----that is enough ---Peter had some growing to do in Christ ------and I think God chose him for Cornelius to help him grow in his walk with Christ ------to get him to think Grace not law ------


Notice ----God shows Peter 3 times -this vision ---this is the same amount of times Jesus ask Peter if he Loved (Agape ) Him ---and Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day ------the number 3 is used a few times in this scripture-----so this number is important here

Hebrew Numerology and the Bible ----see at link provided below
Three: Testing, revealing, proving, documenting, victory and if applied to G-d, holiness

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So here in this scripture verse ----3 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

I say

So we see that God instigated this meeting by and through His Grace ---it was not done because of any actions that were done by man ------God gave them a vision and instructions and they both followed God's Will ---They Both Obeyed the Instructions Folks -----and a person was Saved because God willed it not mankind -----Cornelius's heart was ready to receive and Believe the message that Peter was to give Him because God opened his heart to hearing the message --with gave him the right Faith to believe and receive the message -----

This is the message Peter gave to Cornelius ------Posting here

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
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Then we see that the Holy Spirit came upon them -----only after they believed in the message that Peter preached to them ------verses 44-46

the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.

I say ------
So Cornelius and the others heard the message first --believed it by and through their Saving faith in Jesus and then the filling of Holy Spirit came upon them -----and they spoke in tongues

The Speaking here in tongues in this Chapter was a sign of proof that God was now including all who believe and receive Jesus are one under Christ ------there is no Jew or Gentile --no Male or Female ---all believers are one with Christ -----

Posting here ----------This is from Strong's Concordance on tongues in this Chapter ---

1100 glṓssa – tongue, used of flowing speech; (figuratively) speaking, inspired by God, like the evidence of tongues-speaking supplied by the Lord in the book of Acts to demonstrate the arrival of the new age of the covenant (i.e. NT times).

[The normative experience of the 120 believers received "tongues (1100 /glṓssa) as of fire" (Ac 2:3) and miraculously spoke in other actual languages, i.e. that they could not speak before (Ac

2:4f). This sign was repeated in Ac 10:46, 19:6 – furnishing ample proof (three attestations) that the Lord had incorporated all believers into Christ's (mystical) body

I say

Speaking in tongues is listed as one of the nine gifts of the Spirit -----! Corinthians 12 gives the nine gifts --for anyone interested
 

Waterfall

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Interesting that God has now changed the food laws because wasn't that one of the larger barriers that kept gentiles from converting to Christianity?
Jesus himself said that we should not break any of the commandments nor teach others to do so. Mathew 5:18 At the time Dietary laws were commandments from God, were they not?
And for Jesus then to say that what goes into us cannot defile us, some Jews would say is a misinterpretation of his words to mean changing the dietary laws.
If that were true I imagine God wouldnt be worth worshipping for many Christians.
 

unsafe

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Waterfall ----you said ---Jesus himself said that we should not break any of the commandments nor teach others to do so. Mathew 5:18

I say
The laws came under the Old Covenant of the Mosaic Laws -----and in Matthew Jesus was alive ---the 4 Gospels Matthew --Mark --Luke and John are still under the Laws of Moses -----

The New Testament does not come into effect until Jesus was taken up to heaven ---Acts is the first Chapter under the New Covenant of Grace -----so in Matthew Jesus and all Jews were under the 613 laws that God did put in place -----Jesus came to fulfil what man couldn't and do away with the laws ---no man could keep the laws -----if you failed Keeping one law you failed them all ----

Waterfall -----you said ------
And for Jesus then to say that what goes into us cannot defile us, some Jews would say is a misinterpretation of his words to mean changing the dietary laws.

I say ------I think you are reading the scripture wrongly -----this scripture you talk about in Matthew 15:11is talking about your speech ---your words --------not food -----

New International Version
What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them."

This is the Greek word used for Mouth in this scripture -----
Strong's Concordance

stoma: the mouth
Definition: the mouth
Usage: the mouth, speech, eloquence in speech

I say ------So understanding what is meant by mouth here is needed I think ------
 

Luce NDs

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The word on fast goes down as if you swallow it quick and just as fast spit it out ... you can regurgitate stuff without digestion or thinking about what was said!

I was told that was how to get good marks in school ... as copying your teachers word for word ... then Jay Zus came along and offered to ad light understanding to the law of tyranny ... as AD it is beyond most looking for simple Christianity given the observed complexity in the glowing cloudiness!

Those loched in the present cannot interpret the past ... they only understand staunch protocol! To staunch such things they suggest you stuff it ... a rushed choice as is quick prejudice in the Myers Briggs Character Evaluation that may mean nothing if the character has no reputation for initiating thought ...

Thought is not well accepted by those reading tomes that start out saying knowledge is evil and thus we ponder their perspective on knowledge ... a carnal thing to ghosts? Stuffed it may be in carnate ... not extant!

Imagine X't ante as part of the gamble way back ... ancient moth Ur Myth ... with butterflies before the stuffing process ... thus chiggers as small things that bug your conscience ... con being nay folk in the field of dark observation ... ob tous integral!

If born again would that provide second sight ... like psychics? Let us go back and reinvestigate the roaming lies and dice ... dies? Involves squeeze through a portal ...
 
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paradox3

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I'd say the largest barrier was circumcision, LOL.
Years ago, I worked with a woman who was taking instruction with a rabbi so she could convert to Judaism. She felt very, very sorry for the men in her instruction class.

Although I have heard some rabbis are okay with a ceremonial nick.
 

Luce NDs

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Nick a de thing as it muses? May condense to Nickademo ... demographic severance if the epicists have their way ...
 
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