Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reading Challenge: Acts 22-23

Welcome back everyone. Today's reading is from Acts 22-23

Chapter 22
Paul was giving a sermon through his own testimony of what God had done in his life. We often think that we need to be deep scholars or theologians to share with others about God, but the reality is we can share God with others through our story. I find it amazing that the crowd was listening intently until Paul mentioned that God had sent him to the Gentiles. The word "Gentiles" sent them into a rage and immediately shut them down. This raised several questions for me: what are the words today that will immediately cause people to lose interest? Are we ready to share with people the things they don't want to hear? 

Chapter 23
This chapter is similar to Chapter 22 in the fact that Paul is addressing a captive audience. As Paul looks around and sees that his audience is half Pharisee and half Sadducee he begins to taylor his words specifically to that reality. He takes the route of speaking of the resurrection of the dead because his knows the Sadducees and Pharisee's were divided deeply about this. In this way, he could begin to gain supporters who would hear him out. The interesting thing is, the Pharisee's were not in agreement with Paul's claim of Jesus' resurrection or that Jesus was the Messiah, they were only concerned about being right over the Sadducees. We must be careful that we don't find ourselves in meaningless arguments over doctrine and theology that we miss opportunities sitting in front of us. These two groups were not even paying attention to the life changing message Paul was sharing, they were simply looking to prove their points over the other group. 

What things stood out to you from these passages?


  1. What Paul was to do -"For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard"

    What we are to do. - 2 Corinthians 5:20 (New International Version)
    "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."

    Paul's reality - "And there were more than forty who formed this plot."

    Our Reality - 1 Peter 5:8 (New International Version)
    "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

  2. Words like "The Way" "The Truth" and "The Life" can send people into a rage. Today everyone wants to be tolerant and be open to many doors, and may ways to the Father. Also I think the word "Jesus" and "Christian" are taboo. I know for years I was sort of a closet christian I would say, I go to church but never those words for fear of one someone might think or ask a question I could not answer because I was not studying God's word like I needed to be. "Holy Spirt" is also word that freaks people out because there are so many different views, however God does not operate in darkness. He only operates in light. He must being willing to confront these words and tell people the truth in love with scripture to back it up.

  3. I love hearing Paul's testimony from his own perspective. When he was praying and fell into a trance and Jesus told him to go to the gentiles...thats my favorite part. It's like being in the pre-game meeting with Bill Walsh and Joe Montana (hope thats not heretical).

    Jesus is spelling out the game plan for Paul and Paul is like "no I want to do it this way". And then Jesus is like "I promise, if we do it my way, we will win big!"

    I love the behind the scenes stuff like that.