Read Acts 16:16-24
“When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” (vs. 19-21 NIV)
There was a woman who was trying to make money off the celebrity (if that’s the right word) of Paul and Silas. After Paul commanded the spirit to come out of her, her owners dragged them off before the authorities. This of course riled up others and once again Paul found himself in a very bad situation. “…the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods.” (vs. 21) After severally flogged, they threw Paul and Silas in prison!
As Jews (not as Christians) they were persecuted and beaten under Roman rule! I doubt that Paul and Silas threw “the city” in an uproar. The uproar was what the owners felt in their hearts and they created an atmosphere to bring others to their cause. These owners tried to use a woman to make money for them (prostitution) and Paul confronted the situation. Their scheme was exposed! They used prejudice to create chaos! Their deceit and schemes were exposed and they wanted to get back and retaliate against Paul and Silas!
Paul and Silas may have ended up in jail but good news is that God is the one who has the final word. BUT GOD!!! Make sure to come back next time :)
Read Acts 10:9-28
“You know it’s forbidden for a Jewish man to associate with or visit a foreigner. But God has shown me that I must not call any person common or unclean.”(vs. 28 HCSB)
“One of the main differences between Peter and Paul was the contrast in their calling. Peter was entrusted with the Jews; Saul was entrusted with the Gentiles (Gal. 2:7). (1) Interesting that God knew both the circumcised and uncircumcised needed a bigger vision. Both the Jews and the Gentiles would need a Savior!
“God taught Peter a very important lesson through the vision we read about in Acts 10. God always dishonors prejudice. Peter probably not only saw himself as different from the Gentiles, but better. ‘ ‘Yet his willingness to have his closed mind pried open was testimony of his godly sincerity. Having our minds pried open is rarely easy, but vision is rarely given to those who refuse. We are challenged to overcome prejudice on many levels, certainly not just race. Some of these include economics, denominations, ministries, etc. Differences will always exist, but division doesn’t always have to result. Although God chose Peter and Saul to minister to different groups of people, He intended for each of them to see the importance of the other in the overall vision.” (2)
“Praise God that all who are in Christ have been made clean. We must be careful to avoid spiritual elitism. Everything we are and anything we possess as believers in Christ is a gift of grace. Pure hearts before God must be cleansed from any hint of spiritual pride. We must aggressively fight the enemy when he seeks to nullify our growth and good works by making them invitations for pride and prejudice.” (3)
Verse 15 tells us that God drove home a point to Peter “What God has made clean, you must not call common.” It started with a visual of food and Peter thinking what to eat or not eat. God using the simple things to capture our hearts for the greater purpose … the vision becoming clearer and aligning to what God has on His heart! Is your heart/mind open to see the bigger vision that God has put inside you?
Look closely again at the scripture references:
- vs. 17 – tells us Peter was “deeply perplexed” by the vision as it didn’t line up with his thinking (HCSB)
- vs. 19 – tells us as Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said to him get up and go with the three that were coming with “no doubts” (HCSB)
God revealed a message to him. He saw and then he pondered even as it perplexed him. How about you?
- Have you received revelation from the Lord and then what did you do with it?
- Do you think about it or do you dismiss it?
- Is there an adjustment to your thinking that God needs to make clearer to you?
(1-3) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B & H Publishing