26. Acts 15:22-41
I have always been nervous when someone says, "Let's get together, there's something we need to talk about." I think it goes back to my childhood when I would often get a letter sent home or a conference with my teachers because of my behavior. I was never really a bad kid, I just liked to cut up a lot. Sorta the class clown I guess. (I know that is hard to imagine) I can remember walking home with my report card or even worse a letter from my teacher. It was like bringing home your death sentance. See my parents are from the 'old school.' From the first day of kindergarten the rule at our house was, 'if you get in trouble at school, you are going to be in a lot more trouble when you get home.' Those were the longest walks home ever.
Acts chapter 15 describes a controversy that had arisen in the church in the city of Antioch. There were some Jewish descended christians who were teaching that everyone who became a christian must also be circumcised. Luckily for these non-Jewish believers Paul and Barnabas disagreed and set off to Jerusalem to discuss this with the apostles and elders. I don't know how long it would take to make this journey, but I'll bet for the non-Jewish believers it was like the long walk home with a bad report card. So the apostles and elders met, made a decision and wrote a letter to be taken back to the church in Antioch. Paul and Barnabas brought the letter back to Antioch. I can imagine the anticipation when they arrived and told them that there was a letter. I'll bet Paul and Barnabas didn't let on as to what the decision was either, so that they could hear it directly from the apostles' letter.
It probably took awhile to gather everyone together.
Then open the scroll.
Finially read the decision.
Here it is:
Abstain from foods sacrificed to idols. Abstain from blood. Abstain from the meat of strangled animals. Abstain from sexual immorality. Avoid these things. (These are all things associated with pagan rituals)
"That's it?" they are thinking. No circumcision?
I'll bet they were so relieved.