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Acts: Chapter 11

Categories: ActsTags: 2.1 min read

After staying with Cornelius at Caesarea for a few days Peter, and the believers who travelled with him, went on to Jerusalem.

Acts 11:1 – 3 The Jewish believers in Jerusalem were very critical of Peter for accepting the hospitality of Gentiles (non-Jews). They still felt that Jesus had been sent as a Saviour to the Jews only.

Acts 11:4 – 10 Peter speaks clearly in defence of his actions by recounting his experience of the vision and emphasising the importance of God’s message.

Acts 11:18 We are told, in verse Acts 11:12 that six believers had travelled with Peter and they had also witnessed the baptism of Cornelius and his household. Acts 11:14 expands on the message given by the angel to Cornelius and emphasises the importance of the inclusion of the Gentiles into the purpose of God. Cornelius was told that Peter ‘will bring you a message through which you and your household will be saved.’ Peter explained to the believers at Jerusalem that after baptism Cornelius and his household had received the same gifts of the Spirit as the Jewish believers. Everyone then understood that the purpose of God was being fulfilled.

Acts 11:19 – 21 The Jews had persecuted the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem and many of these believers had escaped into the areas of Judea and Samaria (see Acts 8:1). Some had even travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. These believers also began preaching to non-Jews and converted many to their belief in Jesus as the Saviour.

Acts 11:22 – 26 When news of the preaching in Antioch reached Jerusalem Barnabas was sent to find out what was happening. When he saw ‘the evidence of the grace of God’ he encouraged everyone to continue with their preaching. He also went to Tarsus and brought Saul (Paul) back to help with the preaching. There must have been a great deal of interest in the area because Barnabas and Saul stayed for a year, with the believers being called Christians (followers of Christ) for the first time in this area.

Acts 11:27 – 30 The apostles and many of the early disciples had been given the gifts of the Spirit. One of these gifts was the gift of prophecy. Some of the Christians from Jerusalem prophesied that there would be a severe famine in the area. This famine occurred during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. As the early Christians had agreed to share their possessions (see Acts 4:32 – 37) it was agreed that they would all help each other during the famine with Barnabas and Saul organising the collection.

ADDITIONAL READING

FURTHER THOUGHTS

Mark 1

Categories: Mark|Tags: |

Mark’s gospel has been chosen as a starting point for the group and from the very first chapter it was

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