Interestingly this morning as I read in Acts....I thought of something to share, it might look simple but...perhaps worth to have a thought of that...
In Acts 22, from verse 17-23, Paul was explaining to the Jews in Aramaic.
Here in verse 19: "But Lord, I argued, 'they certainly know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. And I was in complete agreement when your witness Stephen was killed. I stood by and kept the coats they took off when they stoned him." "But the Lord said to me, ' Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles!'
"But the Lord said to me, 'Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'
The crowd listened UNTIL Paul said THAT WORD. Then they began to shout, "Away with such a fellow!" He isn't fit to live.
So they heard Paul until he said......"But the Lord said to me, 'Go, For I will send you far away to the GENTILES." And they got angry and shouted at him....they wanted to kill him.....
Let us imagine that we were there listening to the conversation.....and why would they feel so angry at Paul just because he said, God told him to go to the Gentiles.....they did not get angry because of him saying, he used to kill Stephen, and he suddenly changed his way and follow Christ...
NO NO NO....they got angry because Paul mentioned that God wants him to go to the Gentiles instead....preach the Gospel to them. That's how they cut Paul short....and started yelling at him.
Maybe we need to think of our own reactions, our own responses to the Gentiles.....we were the Gentiles too when we did not know God and follow His ways...and we weren't the Israelities....we are still the Gentiles by birth. But now.....how we see the outsiders? In what atttitude we treat those who are non-believers? Are we just acting like those Jews, strongly object the Gospel being preached to the Gentiles?
Sometimes we might feel that we haven't got that problem, but truly.....when we don't treat the non-believers with love, acceptance and understanding, we are acting just like the Jews, the critical Jews towards the Gentiles, we are in no difference then.
But when we PUT ON Christ's love towards the non-believers, treating them with proper respect, being patience to bring them to Christ, we are putting on the "Love of Christ", we will be a good representative for Christ. "Anti-Gentiles" is about the attitude, of course if we have bad attitudes over them, our actions would show just the same.
Let us not response the same way like the Jews in the passage..not to get angry because someone is giving much time in serving the non-believers, let us not to have that evil attitude and think we are better than the non-believers. God loves all people and He loves all people to be saved by his love. If we have the mind of Christ, we would act much like Him in Society.
May we glorify the name of Jesus in our lives. Amen. May God be our strength and power.
Read more articles by Shemariah Yeung or search for articles on the same topic or others.