fredag 1. juli 2016

No longer ‘these’

The incident in Caesarea is a paradigm change for the understanding of the global perspective of the mission to make disciples of all nations. Peter way of expressing himself gives a glimpse of the distance the Jews kept to the gentiles:
“Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
Acts 10:47
"These" are from now on part of the body "we".

Earlier in this little “tour” of the Acts of the apostles, I have asked if the places of the events were important (1) – and it is appropriate to ask if Caesarea was important.

Judea became Roman province in year 6 AD. From then on Jerusalem ceased to be the administrative capitol in favour of Caesarea. A large garrison of Roman soldiers was stationed in the city (2).

Herod the Great must have been a ‘variegated’ profiteer. It was he who in 25-13 BC developed the Phoenician city "Pyrgos Stratonos" (3) and named it Caesarea Maritima in honour of the emperor. Among the cultural institutions he built there, was the Emperor’s Temple. For believing Jews this must have been some of the most unholy places on Jewish territory.

For these reasons I think: 

Yes - it was important that the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles in exactly that city. 
After Jesus' death, resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit any place can become a holy place (4) – and places where 'these' become 'we'. The gospel was now universal.

‘Manna’ for today:

I am one with all believers – and the places where ‘we’ gather, become holy places. 
(1) Divine strategy or pure coincident?
(2) See: H.H. Ben-Sasson (red.): "A History of the Jewish People", 1976, side 246-247 
(3) In the context it is interesting that Pyrgos means Lighthouse.
(4) Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:21-24

Ingen kommentarer: