I predict a riot…
And we’re off again! It seems that the book of Acts is written for those who like adventure, who enjoy a twist in the tale and a good few cliff hangers! Today’s passage doesn’t disappoint on any of those fronts! These 5 chapters have everything; conversion, imprisonment, riots, team-building, miracles and debates. You get a sense that Paul really did live life on the edge!
We can’t ignore the reaction this man of God received. Though we hear his teaching turned hearts and brought many people to faith, it also create chaos, mobs and riots! There was something deeply divisive and different to the message Paul was bringing. Paul was teaching about One God, a God who had come in human form, a God who had been crucified by the religious leaders, a God who had risen again, a God who offered forgiveness and freedom from sins, a God who was more powerful than Caesar, a God who had changed everything.
This message was clear offensive to many in Paul’s audiences, it was hated by the religious leaders of the day because Paul’s message said this One God offered forgiveness and freedom through grace, not through keeping to a religious system, a system they were oiling the wheels to. Paul’s message ruffled more than a few feathers as he travelled from city to city! He escapes riots and mobs that sound not dissimilar to what we saw on the streets of the UK last summer.
And it’s this same message that we have today. And yes, it’s this same message that should be different to the teachings of OUR day. When was the last time you saw a riot caused by people being mad at the Christian message of hope? Ok so that might seem quite a push in imagination however in our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our universities and our communities the message of this One God should look and sounds different to the messages of the world. The messages of ‘if it feels good it’s right’, ‘buy it, you earned it’, ‘look after number one’, ‘I have therefore I am’, the list could go on.
The Good News of Jesus should challenge us, it should make us look at our attitudes and motives, the message of Jesus should cause a riot in our hearts.
What aspect of Jesus’ message do you think is most challenging to the world and situation you find yourself in?