Acts

Why Pentecost? Why that day?

Wed, 31/05/2017 - 10:57 -- James Oakley
Fire
Image Credit: Soreen D

Why Pentecost? Why did the Spirit come on the church on that day in particular?

It's a good question. Jesus ascended on a Thursday; the Spirit did not come for another 10 days. Why the wait? Jesus only said that they'd have to wait for "a few days", but 10 is longer than it might have been.

Perhaps it was just expedient. There would be multi-national crowds in Jerusalem over the Pentecost festival, making it a perfect time for them to hear the wonders of God in their own tongues.

Maybe.

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Magician deja-vu

Fri, 07/02/2014 - 13:13 -- James Oakley

In Acts chapter 13, Paul meets a magician on Cyprus.

I wonder if, as you read that, you found yourself thinking this was familiar. Ah yes, there was another magician in Acts chapter 8. There, Simon the Magician met with Philip, and then with Peter. Here Bar-Jesus or Elymas met with Paul.

There are differences between them. Most notably, Simon was (superficially, at least) converted; Elymas was not.

Nevertheless, this is one of those passages in Acts that gives the reader a sense of deja-vu.

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Be encouraged by Gamaliel

Sat, 15/03/2008 - 13:59 -- James Oakley

Acts 5:33-39 33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.

But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while.

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2 men in white

Wed, 12/03/2008 - 13:45 -- James Oakley

Why have I not seen this before? 2 men, in white, asking the disciples why they look for Jesus in the wrong place, but telling him where they will see him.

“While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”“ (Luke 24:4-7)

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Brambles and Gorse

Thu, 06/03/2008 - 13:36 -- James Oakley

Last week I was doing a bit of work in the garden, cutting back the ever-encroaching bramble and gorse bushes.

I found myself wondering why there are so many of the things in the garden. It’s a bit of a pain.

Not that it required much thought. Genesis 3:18 solves that one for me – they serve as a reminder of the fact that life in rebellion of God’s law is never a fulfilled / happy / pain-free one. God judges those who rebel against him.

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