Just Great Stuff!
Living Life In 3-D | Discover, Develop, Deploy

Who You Talking To?

It’s Tuesday. It’s life group. It’s God using His word to give us a little shot across the chops.

Acts 11. Yeah, we were there last week, but at least we’re in the second half of the chapter. Now, Peter has just reported to the folks in Jerusalem about this Gentile fella, Cornelius, who has gone and done the unthinkable–accepted Jesus Christ and received the Holy Spirit without becoming a Jew first. How dare he. And even though the Jewish Christians seemed to offer no resistance to Peter’s account, it doesn’t seem that they really get what’s going on. Why do I think so?

Well, in the very next verse, verse 19 actually, it says that, as the Jewish believers were scattered from Jerusalem because of the persecution there, they ended up in various places–Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch–and decided to talk to no one except other Jews about Christ. No way were they going to reach out to those dirty Gentiles.

This cycle was amazingly broken by Jewish believers from Cyprus and Cyrene. Those ne’er- do-wells show up in Antioch and started sharing the gospel with the Greeks (a highly classified euphemism for “non-Jews”). Not only that, but a bunch of these “Greeks” accepted Christ, causing such a ruckus that the folks in Jerusalem hear about it and sent Barnabas to check it out.

Now, Barnabas is very impressed by what he sees, but he appears very concerned, too, that these new believers might be tempted back to their old ways. Good reason to be worried. Worship of Venus and Apollo in that area included some serious sexual depravity. We found it interesting that, rather than go and report back to Jerusalem what he had seen, Barnabas goes looking for Paul. That verb “look for” doesn’t do justice to the sentiment here. It really means that he went searching frantically, like you would if your child got separated from you in the mall. Its the same verb used to describe Mary and Joseph’s search for Jesus when he was left behind in Jerusalem. You get the drift. Barnabas was absolutely determined to get Paul, bring him to Antioch, and have him teach these new believers.

There’s a lot to glean from this account, but one thing we were challenged with is whether we come to church on Sunday determined to speak only to “Jews”, i.e., the people we already know, our friends, people we’re comfortable with. I read a list of some new people who’ve been coming to the McLean campus over the last couple of months to see whether everyone in the group knew them. We didn’t. So, we challenged ourselves to be about the business on Sunday mornings of reaching outside our circle of friends and to meet anyone whose name and story we don’t know.

McLean is a pretty friendly campus, but keeping it that way requires reminding ourselves from time to time what we’re all about. How sad would it be if someone walked in who didn’t know Christ and was able to walk out not knowing anyone else in the room, either.

So, the goal is to remember this not just next Tuesday, but on Sunday morning at 11:00. Should be fun to see what happens.

By the way, these guys make life group a highlight of the week!!

Dwaine Darrah
McLean Campus Pastor

No Responses to “Who You Talking To?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: