Rituals are found in human societies across the world and often come with a strong pressure to conform. First century Judaism had quite a few, developed from the Old Testament (Mk 7:1-13). However, the reason for them is not always
Bezalel was gifted by the Holy Spirit to create a temporary temple for God, during the time of Moses (Ex 31:1-11). Over 1500 years later, Paul saw himself as a temple builder except of a grander kind: an eternal temple
Life is full of disappointments – they are to be expected. Paul seems to have faced one of his in Athens. But these dark patches on our journey through life are not a sign that we’re on the wrong road.
Irritation can rise when another person goes on at us about some part of our life. Yet such nagging can be needed if we are unwilling or unable to see an issue which needs addressing. That’s certainly the case in
Seneca, a Stoic philosopher of Paul’s day, wrote that death is just ‘non-existence’ and hence not something to be concerned about. The apostle, however, thought very differently and tackles such views head-on as he speaks, in our verses, in the
Keeping silent can, at times, be more powerful than speaking. Jesus took that approach with King Herod (Lk 23:8,9) and other authorities (Mk 15:3-5). In the proud Roman colony of Philippi, Paul adopts the same technique with its leaders when
Across 2000 years, the Christian church has told the good news of Jesus Christ. It’s done so in a wide variety of contexts and ways. Here we have a very early example in Luke’s brief summary of the apostle Paul’s
The church of Acts 9 is filled with Jewish believers in Jesus. But the Lord is about to expand it radically by including Gentiles. First, however, he grants his people a period of peaceful growth. Three years or so earlier,
On the day of Pentecost, Jesus used miracles and preaching to challenge Jerusalem’s sins (Ac 2:14-36). Now he is doing so again, with a dramatic healing and another bold sermon from Peter (Ac 3:1-8). The effect is powerful and, this
Acts is about a vital period in history when the foundations were laid upon which Jesus’ church has been built (Ep 2:19-22). Key to this task was the apostles’ teaching (2:42). They’d spent 3 years with Jesus, watching, listening, learning.