No surprise here. As you will hear in this week’s PODCAST, the hyperactive-apostle could not sit still long enough to put pen to parchment.
There is one of the four Gospels credited to Peter—but even that he could not write himself. Peter employed Mark to record his recollections. And no surprise that in reading what could-well be entitled, The Gospel According to Peter as Told to Mark, the one word that jumps out at us in Peter’s fast-paced, out-of-breath memoir is the adverb “immediately.” (Mark uses it 42 times).
All of which is to say that on the rare occasions when Peter did park himself at a desk to inscribe his insights (only twice—1 and 2 Peter!), we should sit up and take notice.
Case in point: 1 Peter 3:15.
“If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.”
Words, BTW, that define for us a biblical approach to personal evangelism—AKA witnessing, soul-winning, sharing your faith.
When they ask, we explain.
A principle that Peter learned, and learned well, here in Acts 10. The asker—Cornelius. Explainer—Peter.
Problem was—and it’s a HUGE problem indeed—Cornelius was an unclean Gentile centurion living in the unclean pagan city-capital city of Roman occupation of Peter’s land. This was for Peter One.Huge.Problem on multiple spiritually-threatening, faith-testing levels.
In order to understand, I need to put you into Peter’s sandals. And in order to put you into Peter’s sandals, I need to alert you to what has historically been the Greatest.Single.Threat to Judaism, and BTW, to us.
Now, allow me to lay out dots, and then connect these dots.
This entire discussion centers around one divine injunction, repeated several times in the Torah.
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She was a footnote in this chapter of the Jesus Story. But she was NEVER a footnote to Jesus.
And neither are you, as you will be reminded in this poignant PODCAST.
If I had to choose one word to describe this woman — and let me assure you, there are many to choose from, such as desperate, fearful, impoverished, unclean, shunned, rejected, lonely, isolated, alone, damaged — If I had to choose one word to describe this woman, the one word I would choose is invisible.
She was indeed invisible. Totally and completely invisible.
She was invisible to her family, her former friends, her neighbors, her faith community… No one gave a thought to, or cared one whit about, this poor precious woman.
Except for Jesus.
If you have ever been tempted to think that Jesus is mean, harsh, angry, impossible to please, time to meet this woman — who will never look at Jesus the same way again.
And neither will you.
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