Untidy Faith

Acts 11-12 | Becky Gonzalez & Lindsay Benedetto

January 18, 2022 Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach Season 5 Episode 6
Acts 11-12 | Becky Gonzalez & Lindsay Benedetto
Untidy Faith
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Untidy Faith
Acts 11-12 | Becky Gonzalez & Lindsay Benedetto
Jan 18, 2022 Season 5 Episode 6
Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach

My guests today are Becky Gonzalez and Lindsay Benedetto.

 

Rebecca "Becky" Gonzalez is a hopeful encourager and freedom fighter. She loves to share glimpses of how she fights to love God and others...clumsily. Becky is a wife and mom to three, along with their rescue dog, Riley. Becky is a 1 on the Enneagram, which also makes her a recovering perfectionist and people-pleaser. She is a writer, speaker, and teacher who embraces the grit and grace to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly, and encouraging others to do the same...because Love leaves glimpses where you least expect it.

 

You can connect with her at www.grit-andgrace.com , on Instagram @grit.andgrace , or on Twitter @grit_andgrace . You can also find her at the intersection of culture and faith as co-host of the We Have Questions podcast

 

Lindsay Benedetto is a full-time working mom of four littles and has been married to her best friend, Tony Benedetto, for over a decade. Currently working in marketing & communications at a large community foundation in Dallas, TX, Lindsay spends most of her work day amplifying the work of individuals and nonprofits in the community through storytelling, social media campaigns, print publications, digital marketing/ads, and more. Lindsay graduated with a degree in English writing and a minor in Theology from a small private school in Sioux Falls, SD.

Lindsay believes wholeheartedly that words matter, and she takes Jesus’ words seriously. But most importantly, she’s a coffee connoisseur and believes most conversations are best had with coffee in hand!

You can connect with Lindsay/follow along with her journey of being a full-time working mom of four who’s married to a head football coach at a high school in Dallas, TX, on Instagram @Lindsay_Benedetto, or on Facebook @Lindsay Benedetto


Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me was the Bible itself. You’ve probably noticed that here on the show we love the Bible, and we take it seriously - but not always literally, and that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But you don’t have to let that overwhelm you. I’ve put together the Big Picture Toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story, learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed, and see new connections between Old and New Testaments with a special Bible Reading Plan. If you’re ready to get back to basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start, and the Big Picture Bible Toolkit can help. Grab yours today free at kateboyd.co/bible.



Kate Boyd - Book | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter

Show Notes Transcript

My guests today are Becky Gonzalez and Lindsay Benedetto.

 

Rebecca "Becky" Gonzalez is a hopeful encourager and freedom fighter. She loves to share glimpses of how she fights to love God and others...clumsily. Becky is a wife and mom to three, along with their rescue dog, Riley. Becky is a 1 on the Enneagram, which also makes her a recovering perfectionist and people-pleaser. She is a writer, speaker, and teacher who embraces the grit and grace to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly, and encouraging others to do the same...because Love leaves glimpses where you least expect it.

 

You can connect with her at www.grit-andgrace.com , on Instagram @grit.andgrace , or on Twitter @grit_andgrace . You can also find her at the intersection of culture and faith as co-host of the We Have Questions podcast

 

Lindsay Benedetto is a full-time working mom of four littles and has been married to her best friend, Tony Benedetto, for over a decade. Currently working in marketing & communications at a large community foundation in Dallas, TX, Lindsay spends most of her work day amplifying the work of individuals and nonprofits in the community through storytelling, social media campaigns, print publications, digital marketing/ads, and more. Lindsay graduated with a degree in English writing and a minor in Theology from a small private school in Sioux Falls, SD.

Lindsay believes wholeheartedly that words matter, and she takes Jesus’ words seriously. But most importantly, she’s a coffee connoisseur and believes most conversations are best had with coffee in hand!

You can connect with Lindsay/follow along with her journey of being a full-time working mom of four who’s married to a head football coach at a high school in Dallas, TX, on Instagram @Lindsay_Benedetto, or on Facebook @Lindsay Benedetto


Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me was the Bible itself. You’ve probably noticed that here on the show we love the Bible, and we take it seriously - but not always literally, and that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But you don’t have to let that overwhelm you. I’ve put together the Big Picture Toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story, learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed, and see new connections between Old and New Testaments with a special Bible Reading Plan. If you’re ready to get back to basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start, and the Big Picture Bible Toolkit can help. Grab yours today free at kateboyd.co/bible.



Kate Boyd - Book | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter

Kate Boyd:

You're listening to happy and holy the podcast where scripture comes to life through a small group discussion. This season, we're walking through the birth of the church in the book of Acts. And you get to be a fly on the wall to see what new things we learn with and from one another, as we engage scripture and community. I'm your host, Kate Boyd. I'm a disciple maker, writer and speaker, who was making space in the church for Christians caught in the messy middle between conservative and progressive, between loving the church and we love Jesus love people and work with God and each other for a pair of walking. Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me? Probably that here on the show, and we take it very, but we don't always take it. And that means that meaning complicated, but all the complexity doesn't have to overwhelm you. And that's why I put together the big picture Bible toolkit. It will help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story will also let you learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without and you'll see new connections between the Old and the New Testament with a special if you're ready to get back to the basics of the faith, Bible is a great place to start. And the big picture Bible toolkit will grab yours today for free. Now welcome, everybody, to happy unholy and today we're talking through the book of Acts still and specifically we're focusing on chapters 11 and 12. In today's episode, so before we get started, I want to introduce you to some of my friends. So Becky, why don't you tell us about yourself?

Becky Gonzalez:

Well, hello, Kate. Um, my name is Becky Gonzalez. I'm actually Rebecca Gonzalez. But everybody calls me Becky. So Becky it is. I'm a wife and mom to three kids. And our rescue dog Riley, she would be upset if I didn't include her in the introduction. Raised and lived in South Florida my entire life, which as of a few weeks ago was 50 years. If you're into a personality profiles at all, I'm a one on the Enneagram which also means I'm a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser. I I believe that God uses the grit and grace of life to grow us beautifully. And I like to write words and share them to love and encourage others about

Kate Boyd:

it. Thanks. And I'm a Katherine so I can relate to having actually have like five different nicknames. I feel like I have an existential crisis. Every time somebody asked me at Starbucks what name I should use. I understand. I'm Lindsey, how about you? Yes, well, I

Lindsay Benedetto:

really only have one nickname. People call me lens those who know me best. So I don't have the same existential crisis. But I do love a good nickname. My name is Lindsey Benedetto. I'm a full time working mom of four little kids. My oldest is six, middle is almost five and our twins are three and they keep us extremely busy. I worked full time at a community foundation in Dallas, Texas, if you're local, we're the largest largest community foundation in the area. And you know, I have the privilege of storytelling, all the good work that happens in our community. And so I love writing and being able to do that. I've been married to my husband for over a decade. He is a head high school football coach. So anyone who knows Texas knows that we are very serious about our football here. So this is a big deal. It is a very big deal at the high school level level even as well. So yeah, this season is extremely busy for us. But we love it and I'm thrilled to be talking with you both today.

Kate Boyd:

Lindsey also makes really great mom reels on Instagram. So if you need a laugh I don't have kids but they make me laugh.

Lindsay Benedetto:

I received that they are true true mom moments for me Mom connections if you will.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Ah Thank you both for being here today. I'm really excited to chat through everything. And so we should just dive right in. Becky, will you recap chapter 11? For us before we chat about it?

Becky Gonzalez:

Sure. Um, there are like, like, three main bullet points, I guess that I would say are what make up x 11. And the first thing off the bat is the call to Unity. Why Gentiles should be allowed into the faith. And it starts off by, you know, Peter deeming to eat with people that are on circumstance uncircumcised and being criticized for it. And he goes on to you know, explain the vision that he had an X 10. And step by step, he goes through it, get up Peter, kill and eat. Peter says, know what God has made clean, you must not call it pure. And you know, he goes through this three times. And so Peter recounts what happened in act 10. Again, in Acts 11, trying to explain, this is why I am it's okay for me to eat with the uncircumcised. And then so the call to unity, and that it moves us into the gifts of the Spirit, where this is what makes that unity possible. After he shares about his vision, he goes on to describe about the power of the Holy Spirit. And what you know, you could call the Gentile Pentecost, as opposed to the Jewish Pentecost that took place in Acts two, he's, you know, talking about how the Holy Spirit showed up. And yeah, it was just amazing. And then, you know, when he shares an axe, 17 through 18, if then God gave them the same gift that he also gave to us what he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder god? Yeah. And so you know, from there, we see that the mission is expanding the power of the gospel to the Greek mission, and the church in Antioch. And so we see, you know, the first steps of this evangelizing to the Greeks, there had been evangelizing to the Jews, but now, first to the Jew, and now to the Gentile. And so we're talking, you know about that, and we're seeing what that looks like. And the cool thing is that the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch, and we'll get into that later. But this is something really cool. The Greek mission was made real through the generous giving, and remembering the poor. And I love it, that that's how it kind of like ends, like they have this mission with this famine that took place. So Unity, the power of the Holy Spirit, and then the Greek mission, which is made complete with this generous giving to those that are, are in poverty and are struggling with, with this famine that was taking place. So that's kind of like, the big, the big picture and x 11.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, it's, it's so good. I, I love x so much. And I think, you know, hearing Peter, talk in the beginning of this one is part of why I love it so much. I love how they're starting to put all the pieces together that make the church, the church, and you actually just sort of start seeing it formed not just in the Jews, but also in the Gentiles, and how they even start to accept that which feels outrageous, right? Um, and it'll come to a head and a few chapters, when they really start figuring out what that actually means. And to include everyone, but yeah, so let's start in chapter 11. Up here at the top where Peter is reporting what he has seen among the Gentiles, and the response that people have. Lindsay, what sort of jumped out at you in this section?

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yeah, well, quite quite a bit. I mean, we have the circumcision party, as my Bible calls the group these religious leaders who are the ones criticizing Peter for going into the house of Gentiles dining with them conversing with them, they sort of call him out and they're like, how could you do this? You know our tradition. You know what the law states and I love this you know, my Bible says But Peter in in verse It says, But Peter began and explained it to them in order. So he starts from the very beginning. And kind of what I glean from this is that Peter must have been extremely patient in his recounting of the story that happened, because by the time he finishes telling the story of this vision, and you know, Becky, you noted, this is not the first time he's told this story, this is like, the second or third time at this point. But we'll come back to the beginning. But he gets to the end of that section. And it says, when they heard these things in verse 18, they felt silent. And so I imagine, you know, how persuasive Peter must have been in telling this story or, you know, again, coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit, this conviction, the religious leaders must have experienced, while Peter is telling a story, that they have no words, right, yet start with this criticism, and they're coming at him with How could you do this, and it ends with, you know, just praise and glory for, you know, God on high and the work of the Holy Spirit. And, you know, one other thing that I just want to mention here as well is, I love the character development that we see happen in Peter, in the book of acts as a whole. But in these two chapters, particularly, you know, the Peter of the Gospels, before he's filled with the Holy Spirit, is a Peter who's really committed to his ideas, and his way of thinking about how the Messiah should act and behave and how the king should, you know, come in and rule. You know, when Jesus wants to wash the disciples feet, and Peter is like, no, don't wash my feet, Lord, like you're not supposed to serve. And Jesus say, No, the Son of Man came to serve. It's the Peter who denied Christ three times, you know, it's, we just see a completely different Peter, and Holy Spirit filled Peter, is this guy who's in total submission to the work of God, and, and the Holy Spirit. And I was actually really encouraged by that. I don't think I thought about Peter in that way. Yeah. But these two chapters really brought that home for me.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, we've definitely talked about it over. And over the course of getting to this point, Peter, that sort of idea of Peters growth has come up because you do you look back to the Gospel accounts, and, you know, sure, he's in the inner circle, but he and Jesus buttheads more than once, yeah, because and because he is just not getting it. Like his heart is in the right place. His intention is good, his impact is bad, right. And so Jesus is like, we're gonna figure this out. I'm gonna get you there. And yeah, it's when the Holy Spirit happens. Yeah, that things click for all these people. And I think, Gosh, what it it is such an encouragement, because I feel like if Peter can, you know, go from this, like, brash, loud, you know, he still keeps that passion, right, and that love for Jesus, but that it's gone from, you know, denying him to now owning his own place, you know, among God's people, and even daring to open that up, right. Like the he's connecting, or even that we've seen, you know, there are parts in the chapters leading up to this, where he goes, and he's healing and he's preaching, just like Jesus did, and really like starting to put all that together in his life. And so I really love seeing that. That story arc for Peter is really cool. And you're right, it gives us a lot of hope. So yeah, as we see the story come together, I find that I'm really encouraged as the person who messes up and doesn't get it pretty often. I find that really nice. Becky, what about you? What about this, you know, him explaining that Gentiles are in now?

Becky Gonzalez:

I think just I mean, similar to what you just shared. Lindsay. I mean, I'm thinking of the Peter of the Gospels. And how when he denied, yeah, knowing Jesus, three times, and just just kind of comparing that two to the Peter that we're reading about here. And that, yes, the Lord had to go through this with him and tell him what God has made clean. You must not call him pure. Yeah, three times. I think just the boldness in Peter to to just kind of not bow down To the people that were questioning him and why he was having, you know, eating with those that were uncircumcised that he, he didn't cower down that that isn't the Peter that we saw in the Gospels. When he was being asked about Jesus, he, he was bold and upfront and said, Hey, this is what happened. This is what I saw. This is what the Holy Spirit told me. And who am I to hinder what, what God is doing? Yeah. So I just, yeah, I just see that as such a cool again, like you said, Kay, just this, this character arc for Peter of just seeing how. Yeah, he's becoming the man of God that he that he was meant to be. And it's just really cool to see.

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yeah, and I think in addition to that, too, yeah. Know, he's telling these people the vision he seen and what he's come to believe with bold conviction, like you were saying, Becky. But he also says, verse 15, and 16, where he's talking about how the Holy Spirit fell on them just as was on us in the beginning, you know, during Pentecost, for 16, he says, and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. And it ties to what you're talking about where he said, who might have stand in the way of the work of the Lord. But what I love here is that, you know, even Peter draws on the scriptures, right, which he knows what the early writings said, he has this moment where he's not just some guy who's talking about incredible vision or experience with the people he's saying. But also, I remembered that this is what God's word said. And this is, it's coming to fruition in this moment, right. And so it's, it's not enough just to, I think, in today's day and age, it's not enough to, to say that you've heard the voice of God, for example, you know, God told me this thing, without also having it being affirmed or confirmed by the word of God as well. Or at least that's what I'm sort of gleaning from this text and thinking through and I don't know if that stood out to you guys as well. Or if there's any additional context you would add to that, Kate? But yeah,

Kate Boyd:

I mean, I think for us, it's scripture. We have to remember at the time Peter saying this, that's what probably wasn't written down yet. Right? Yeah. And so right, he's not actually pulling on Scripture. He's pulling from his personal experience with Yes. Which has become scripture. And so because that was one thing I was reading was like he does he's not drawing on. Because even for the early church, Scripture wasn't the Gospels and the epistles. Right, it was the Old Testament. Yep. And so um, he doesn't draw on any of that, which is, to me sort of fascinating, because I feel like if you're a Jew, and I think that's the other part to remember is like, this is where they're still sort of wrestling with what Pentecost to me, Well, I guess even Pentecost was to Jewish people, right, but of different languages, but we're, we've started to see Gentile areas open up, we're gonna see it even more as x goes on. Um, but to even think about, and this, we don't think about this very much is that, like, Christianity was very much a Jewish part of the Jewish religion, like it was a sect of Judaism. And was really identified like that until the temple fell, and everybody sort of had to scatter. And so it's really interesting that he, to me, it sort of stood out that he didn't pull from scripture, because it feels like that's what a good Jewish person and talking to Jews should do in this situation. Yeah. But what he does do that I like, is like, they're talking about how he's eaten with uncircumcised people. But at the end of this, which is like the sign, right, a circumcision means that you are in. But at the end of this, he says, If God gave them the same gift that he gave us, when we believed in the Lord, they talked about the Holy Spirit. So he's moving the goalposts, right. He's now saying the sign isn't circumcision, we can keep that that's well and good for us Jewish people. And, and we'll see in Acts 15, how they actually don't require Gentiles to get circumcised. But he's saying if you've got the Holy Spirit, that's the sign now it's not this outer thing. It's an inner thing in those itself outside. So he's really changing what it means, in essence, to be Jewish in a way because it's not about clean and unclean. It's not about circumcised and uncircumcised it's about spirit or no spirit. That's a fascinating shift for someone like Peter to make. Yeah, you expect it from Paul. But uh, you know, because that's a cult like he becomes one of the advocates for that. But to see it even here this early on, and Peter before we get to 15, and that becomes a real thing. And to me, that was really interesting.

Lindsay Benedetto:

So good, so good.

Kate Boyd:

But we do see some scattering. So I know I talked about how it really scatters later. But we do see some scattering because a couple chapters back, big persecution breaks out and we do see, we do see believing Jews and be scattered. And some Gentiles who come to believe, because of that persecution. And it is interesting, because up until now, it sounds like most of the time, they've just been going to synagogues and talking. They just expected it to be Jewish people. But now we start seeing your Barnabas and your other people come to Antioch, which is a really big, it's a big deal city. And starting to allow that to expand beyond Jewish people. Becky, what did you notice about this church in Antioch section?

Becky Gonzalez:

Well, um, I thought it was, I thought it was really interesting. I mean, like you mentioned, just that, that, that spreading out that took place because of I think what precipitated it was the martyring. I don't, I don't know the right word martyrdom or martyring. Yeah. And because of that, you know, Christians are, are scattered. And the gospel is being spread geographically, because of the scattering that's taken place. And then, like you said, it was happening from the preaching that was taking place in the temples, but then some started in verse 20, of acts 11. But then some started speaking to the Greeks to proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus. And so again, that, like the door is open to, to preaching the gospel to, to the Greeks. And it happens after this, you know, this scattering, because of the persecution that was taking place, and I thought that it was cool. That Antioch, I'm a word nerd. And so I kind of went on a little rabbit trail, be encouraged to Antioch. And what it means literally, is, I want to make sure I get that, that meaning, correct. It means resistant, holding out against. So I just, I thought that how, how cool of the Lord to use the name of this place, which means to hold out against, it's being resistant. to kind of show that the Jewish Christians were holding out against receiving the Gentiles at the time, right. receiving them as believers as brothers and sisters. And the Lord said, Nope, not anymore. Yeah, it's gonna start here. Yeah. And this this is where it's gonna begin. So I just thought like, the meaning of the word plus what the Lord used at that place was just I just thought it was it was awesome. So yeah, and that the believers were first called Christians in Antioch. super interesting.

Lindsay Benedetto:

Well into further you know, Becky, what you're talking about with Antioch some of the the reading that I did was that no, cuz I saw your rabbit trail in the Google Doc and I thought, Oh, okay. Let's let's figure out this Antioch a little bit more. So this would have been, you know, a huge city, probably the second or third largest in the Roman Empire. And from some of my readings, they would have been known for their business, their commerce, they were sophisticated in nature. But then also, you know, their immorality. So, it's even more fascinating to me that the the church spread would have happened from a place that That was so that would have been known for its immorality to those in the Roman Empire for the church to just explode right for the gospel to spread for Gentiles and Jews alike. I mean, you would think it would be Jerusalem, right, would be the center point for the gospel to go out to all the nations. And again, we see, you know, God just turning what we think we know or how we think it should have been on its head. And I love I love that detail about this, that probably the least expected of all places, is where the gospel just goes gangbusters. Right? The people take it everywhere missionaries, Peter has been a brother's Barnabas.

Kate Boyd:

I just love that. I really like that. And it's funny, you bring up the Christian thing to because some of the stuff I was reading, they were talking about how it would have been, I think we think of it as like a good thing that they were called Christians. And obviously, we've adopted the moniker now, but at the time, they were being mocked, right by being called Christians. So apparently, there was a guy named Pompeii. And so his, and his followers and members of his party are called Pompeii, Ian's. And so it could have been, so then being called Christians could have been related to their declaration of calling Christ's King, which obviously is a big no, no, and the Roman Empire. And later, being, because later being called Christians, or saying Christian, or something like that was used as the legal charge against them in persecution. So that was really fascinating. Um, but eventually, obviously, they embraced it, because they obviously believe Christ is king. So I found that really interesting, because everyone's always like, oh, yeah, I mean, it's like little Christ. And it was like a big deal. You know, like, Oh, so cute. We were called Christians for the first time. But I was like, gosh, I never understood that that actually wasn't a good thing for them. And I think the other thing, so as we've been going throughout these chapters, I have noticed more and more of Barnabus. And I'm kind of low key obsessed with him at the moment. Because of the way that he like fights for people or sees a need and fills it. And so like, this is just sort of another instance, you know, they, they, they trust Barnabus a lot. And so they sent him to be the person that shapes Antioch, into the church that it becomes, which is a big deal. Like you guys were saying, eventually, Peter ends up there, Paul and Barnabas are sent from there on their missionary journeys, like that's their home base. And Barnabas started that. And he brought Paul in, at this time still being called Saul. And, and he brings him in, in order to, you know, mentor him, right. And I think Barnabas gets sort of like, lost because we always think of Paul as the star, but he's the one that actually yeah, Paul, a lot of what he knows. And I, yeah, I get, so I'm like, Oh, I just love that I love Barnabas, and just how he is so encouraging. And he brought him in there. And he believed in Saul, you know, and he gave him the leg up. Not only did he vouch for him back in Jerusalem when everybody was like, we don't trust this guy, but now he's actually like, no, come hang out with me for this year, and we'll work together. Yeah, I appreciate it that

Lindsay Benedetto:

one thing that this may have been mean, totally reading into the text, right, but I sort of, you know, enjoy fantasizing about what was really happening behind the scenes. And when Barnabas was sent to Antioch, I was kind of thought, Huh, I wonder, I wonder what the the church leaders in Jerusalem, what was the purpose of sending him right, was it sort of like, Alright, we've heard these things are going on in Antioch. We're gonna need you to get their Barnabas report back to us what's going on? Yes. Like, it's sort of like Jerusalem is the HQ of Christianity, if you will. And so they sent Barnabas thinking that, okay, we're gonna find out what's really happening. Is this true? Can we support this work and part of the skits, they're kind of like you were saying, Kay, and he's just like, he sees the work. And he's like, glad he is so glad and he encourages them to continue the good work, that he's it says he's full of the Holy Spirit and faith and then a great many people were added to the Lord. I mean, I just I don't know it's a little aside that I thought through just wondering how we got there, what was the the nature of why he was sense Exactly. And if it was genuine, or if there was sort of this like, Hmm, I wonder what's going on down there, we're going to need you to be our ears and our eyes to give us all the good info good intel?

Kate Boyd:

I think, definitely some of that. Yeah. And even the sort of, because we see how concerned they were in just a few verses before. Yeah, of keeping the Jewish standards, right. Yes. So they're like, We need to make sure that we've got a handle on this. And that we're, you know, everybody has the same information, and that we're doing this like we, I mean, we see this all the time today. And so I think part of it was Barnabas is trustworthy. Let's send him yeah, we'll get all the information. And we'll be able to preserve the message that we're handing down, right, the way that we're living this, the way right that we're following the way of Jesus. And so I think there's a lot of things mixed up into one, but I do like you, like you said, I saw, you know, when he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and sorted them. And he's like, you know, I got this already, like, I'm here, and I'll help but it was happening before I got here. So yeah, we see how that trickles out. Because, you know, someone comes and talks about how there's going to be a famine. Yeah. Um, and they stand up and in Antioch, and they help meet needs, which is like, I mean, you start to see that they really got it right. Like, because back in Jerusalem, we were seeing people like giving over their possessions to help each other so that nobody had need, and Antioch hears about a famine. That's going to be and then it does happen far away. And it's actually a famine that's confirmed. That like Josephus like historians actually confirm it happened. Yeah, Antioch is like, let's do this, we're gonna help out. And I love that. So you don't just hear that they're doing well, you actually see evidence that they're doing well?

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yeah. Yeah, I almost kind of wondered, Is this maybe you know, this case? Is this like the first recording of a relief fund or charitable fund for people in another place? Right. You were saying that in Jerusalem, they were doing this all the time, they were caring for their, their local people, the local church, if you will. But thought it was interesting that it just says everyone gave according to their ability. It was, it was like, Absolutely, we're going to do this. Let's put to get package together this relief fund and send it with Barnabas and Saul, and they're going to deliver it to these people. I mean,

Becky Gonzalez:

these people, these people that are their brothers and sisters in Christ, yeah. Jew and Gentile. Yeah. Brothers and sisters in Christ. So, you know, just just the difference in Okay, I'm going to help out those that I, you know, have been in unity with this whole time that I know, too. No, this is this is this is making the unity of that, that the Spirit makes possible for real because they are our brothers and sisters, Jew and Gentile alike. That's who the relief is being provided for. And so, yeah, just I thought that was I don't know, if that had happened before. If that was the first time that had that happened.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I don't, I can't think of another recorded time that would come before this. But we definitely see, you know, how people supported Paul and how he carried things. I mean, he's carrying this gift to them. And I do think it's interesting that it's the Gentiles bailing out the Jews, right, in that sense, where like, normally you would have maybe expected it to go the other way, but that their expression of solidarity and unity, that word that we've been seeing a lot or saying a lot today, I'm like, is being expressed in this way, and I think that's really interesting. Okay, chapter 12. Lindsey, will you recap that for us?

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yes, chapter 12. A lot happens in a short chapter in my perspective, and it's a chapter that's book ended by death. So we actually begin with Herod the king, not to be confused with Herod the Great, he would have been the grandson of Herod the Great, who was the king that had all of the infants murdered after Jesus birth? This is Herod of Antas. Are No Is this a grip? Ah,

Kate Boyd:

this is a grip grip, excuse me was the one that killed Jesus right?

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yes. Yes, thank you got my got my ace mixed up there. So the chapter opens with James the brother of John being killed by Herod and Harry It says when he sees when he saw that displease the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. So if there's some sort of political motivation behind this, right, he sees that some of the Jewish people are pleased by the fact that he's killed. James, his intention is to do do the same thing with Peter. So he has him arrested. But at the time this is happening. This is during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So he has him jailed, sends a ton of cards to watch over him. The text actually says that there were squads of soldiers, and each squad included for soldier soldiers. So we've got 16 Soldiers total, to watch one person in prison, Peter is chained to two of the soldiers while in prison. So this is real serious stuff, right? And of course, because Herod is still trying to please the people, he's not going to have Peter put on trial and murdered during the Days of Unleavened Bread, he's waiting until this time has concluded. Because it would have not been accepted for him to you know, murder someone during that time. So Peter is getting prayer. And the text actually says in first, first five, that earnest prayer for him was being made to God, by the church. And I think this is a really important detail in the text. So the night before Peter is supposed to be brought out and executed. It says, Now when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping, he's in jail sleeping, attached to these two shoulders and Angel of the Lord appears, there's sort of this bright light, the angel appears. And a funny thing in the text for me as I was reading it was it the angel actually has to like, strike him on the side to wake him up, right, it's not enough that this angel appears and there's a bright light, he's got to sort of like whack him. So Peter must have been in like such a deep sleep, which I think we could come back to this but that is a fascinating detail to me that Peter was fast asleep the night before his execution. So I definitely want to circle back to that anyway, Angel strikes on the site, he's just gonna quickly put your sandals on Fasten your belt and kiss your cloak. We got to go you know, the chains fall off a Peter. So it's this very just crazy, rapid series of events. So Peter follows the angel outright. They go through the gates, the iron gate that they get to which would have been alas gate they needed to exit out of the city, it says it opens of its own accord, right, automatically, this iron gate opens and an angel leaves Peter, and Peter sort of comes back to himself. The text says that it was almost like he was in a trance didn't realize this was actually happening. He thought it was a dream. He sort of comes back and he's like, Oh my gosh, I have to go tell people, the people who have been praying for me. So he goes to the house of Mary who's the mother of John, who had a surname of Mark many are gathered there and they're praying right so Peter gets the door and he's knocking on the door and a servant girl named Rhoda also I want to circle back to this rota comes to answer the door she recognizes Peters voice it's not even that she's seen his face. She recognizes his voice doesn't open the door for him but turns around runs back inside and it's like Peter is here Peters here and they call her crazy. Nicola crazy. They simply can't believe you know, besides the fact that they're praying for something Dracula's to happen for Peter wrote a delivers the news that Peters at the door and they're like no way knowing shush you go way over there. That's crazy. It must be an angel MSB Peters Angel we have to get back to our praying for Peter to be released right like the whole the whole circumstance just feels odd. Yet if I were someone in the room, I probably would have done the exact same thing right so you understand where they're coming from? That Peter continues knocking almost like you guys, someone let me in please. So they come to the door. They open the door and they're just like, what? This is insane peters out of jail. He motions them to be silent. Right? So they come with all this commotion can't believe it's Peter and he's like, sheesh, I got to tell you some important news here. He describes how the Lord delivers him from jail, brought him out of prison. And he said in verse 17, tell these things to James and to the brothers. Then he departed and goes to another place. He's like, listen, we got important things to do here. So I'm going to tell you what happened. Then I'm going to go tell the others. And of course, as was expected, a Roman custom would have been for the guards Herod's guards to have been tried, questioned and killed because they lost their prisoner. That's exactly what happens in right after Peter leaves the church gathering. And then to end the chapter, Herod, he's in this quarrel with people from Tyre inside him. They come to Him, they persuade the Kings personal asst Chamberlain, the text calls them as you will, they asked for peace because their country, you know, depends on the king for food. And it says on the appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took a seat upon the throne and delivered an oration or a public address to the people of the time, right? People are praising him. They're like, Oh my gosh, she puts on these, his beautiful royal robes. And you know, Josephus, Kate, you brought him up earlier, but I read some of his accounts of this story. And it says that his robe, you know, must have glittered in the sun. And the people were amazed by this. So they're chanting at him like, this is not a man, this must be a God. And instead of correcting the people, Herod receives the praise, because really, that's what he wants the whole time. Right? It started in the chapter starts with him, killing James, to please the Jews. He wants this praise and adoration of self exaltation, if you will. So he receives that, yes, I'm like a god. And just all of a sudden, he is struck. It says he's struck by an angel of the Lord. And he's eaten by worms, and he dies. And that's how the chapter ends. Yeah. And yeah,

Becky Gonzalez:

just the end, very bizarre.

Kate Boyd:

Bizarre, it is sort of a bizarre aside, you sort of wonder why in the world that's here. Yes. But it is sort of fascinating when you get into some of it, because there are some really interesting layers to the story. So let's start with a core James and Peter being put out in prison, Becky? Um, yeah, what sort of struck you in this first few verses?

Becky Gonzalez:

Wow, just I mean, we're coming off of, you know, reading about this unity, that, that the early church is experiencing, you know, happy feelings, kind of, you know, we're having this unity in the spirit brothers and sisters, Jews and Gentiles, and then boom. James is martyred. Yeah, here is put in jail. And I think I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me from this first section is just kind of what Lindsay alluded to that just Herod's attitude, and how he was being led by what was pleasing the people, which was benefit, benefiting him politically, because if the people were pleased by what he was doing, and what he was doing was, you know, killing and being, you know, not a great guy. To the Christians. Yeah, I was gonna keep doing that. And I think just wow, just just how the politics of the day kind of, you know, maybe kind of sort of, you know, mirror the politics of our day, where, you know, you see that something is pleasing to the people, and you're going to do that. So I just that that kind of, you know, the more things change, the more things stay the same. Yeah, that kind of that, that kind of that kind of hit me. And yeah. Yeah, and just that verse five, so Peter was kept in prison, but the church was praying fervently to God. For him hands. Yeah. And kind of fast forwarding a little bit to the fact that he was sound asleep. Yeah, in the midst of what was happening. I mean, no doubt that. I mean, possibly, he was present for the execution of James he was in the area, you know, if not a witness to it. And so, being imprisoned after that, just I mean, yeah, again, the power of the Holy Spirit. For him to be able to rest and to sleep so soundly and to be you know, yeah. Mom, Peter. Yes.

Kate Boyd:

I mean, he's been in jail a few times at this point, like, sure. They're just all they're always throwing Peter in jail. And, um, you know, I have to think that he probably had resigned himself to knowing that he's not getting out this time, like the other time was like I got out the other times, it's probably not happening now. Like, we're just if we're going like rule of threes like now. Yeah. So it is interesting in that way, and I do think so. Some of the stuff I was reading too, there was talking about Agrippa and how he was obviously made king of Judea by Rome. Um, but he's from basically a really rich Jewish family that sort of. So he's very much like, he's like, Yeah, I'm Rome. But I'm Jewish guys. And so he sort of like was proving his Jewishness in a way like I'm going to protect our faith. And I think is what some of the material I was reading through alluded to. And so and that he did it during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So there's going to be a lot of people there, it's going to have a lot of attention. And so he was really trying to capitalize on this moment. Um, and yeah, it just it's a lot. I mean, and poor James, I feel like James just sort of like, he gets a sentence, right? Yeah. But you actually see, and I think to something, you were saying, Lindsey, maybe you were saying it to Becky. But like, we keep seeing all this joyful stuff. But one thing that x continues to do is remind us that all of this was happening, we see sort of this good stuff, and then we just sort of like assume everybody's lives were okay. But it's actually in this really intense environment, this really crazy background of, of persecution of martyrdom, you know, of death and destruction of their lives and their livelihoods. And so, I'm, though it feels like sort of a whiplash he, like experience to read through, I find myself grateful for the reminder that that's happening, because I think sometimes even I sort of slip into that prosperity thing, you know, like, well, things are going great spiritually, so it must be going great everywhere. Yeah. But that's, that's actually not what's happening. Like, there's actually a lot of really scary hard stuff.

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it was, you know, Peter, James, and John, right in Mark, I think you can correct me if I'm wrong. But you know, they go to Jesus. They're like, his top three guys. And they're like, can we be your top three lieutenants? You know, like, we want to do this with you. We want to be your top three guys. And Jesus asks them, are you prepared to drink the cup that I'm about to drink? You know, and Jesus is talking about his suffering and death on the cross? And He is asking them, are you prepared to suffer as I have suffered? And you know, at the time, they're like, yeah, totally ready to go Jesus with you to the end. And then we see James as the first of the 12 disciples who was martyred. I mean, Steven was the first martyr right earlier and x. But James, being one of Jesus top three guys, is killed. And so there's this like, what you were saying, Kate, this very sobering moment. And I think it was even so sobering for Peter to because when he when he gets out of prison, in this chapter, verse 11, it says, when Peter came to himself, he said, Now I'm sure that the Lord has sent his angel and how I read this, this bit. I read it, like the Lord has sent his angel and rescue me, from the hand of Herod, and from all that the Jewish Jewish people were expecting. So like you were saying, Becky, Peter, probably, I mean, he knew that James was killed, right? And he's thrown into prison. So there's this very real, like, this is my time. This is my time, and he gets out of prison, he comes to himself and he's like, I, I do not know why. Why this happened to James and not to me why I've been set free, but it's part of why he runs straight to the church, the people who are praying and tells them exactly what's happened and then goes on his way. Because the work in the message is just too important. Right? So just just as you were saying, Kate, that like there's there's a lot of this joyous, momentous occasion and spread of the gospel, and we feel that sense of unity for the Jews and the Gentiles, but it's it's laced with death and in terrorism against, you know, Christians, so yeah, it's a great thing to bring out.

Becky Gonzalez:

It's like opposition at every turn. Yeah. But the gospel continues to Yeah, move forward.

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yeah. evil rulers intended you know, for harm right. It actually agent spreading the gospel as a whole. So

Kate Boyd:

yeah, I mean, they're getting it sort of from both sides, right. Like Jesus don't like it because they're saying the Messiah has come They don't get that right. But Rome doesn't like it either, because now these people who they don't see is Jewish. Yeah. And they see it as a different thing. Like they're saying somebody else's King, and they're also not sacrificing to our gods and only Jews got that exemption. And so they're sort of threatened by both sides, like religious and political powers are like, we don't know where you fit, but it's not with us. So we're not together. And over and over. I mean, I saw this a lot in mark when we went through it last season. And I think we'll probably still see it, you know, in this too. There's always these competing, you know, narratives that people are trying to control and it Yeah, it doesn't work with this, like weird group of Christian people, you know, like, it's not good. And so they do everything they can. So like Herod here, not only all those squads, but like you were saying, Lindsey, it He is literally chained to two soldiers. Yes, in order to not run away. And he's probably naked, right? Or mostly naked, because they're saying he has to put on all of his clothes before he leaves. So it's like humiliating, and like top secret top security. And he's imprisoned in public to it says he's imprisoned in public. And not just like, somewhere else. He's like, there and people could see him.

Lindsay Benedetto:

I totally messed him.

Kate Boyd:

And so it's very intense. And it's really there for spectacle, and to humiliate him. And he doesn't fight back. He's like, okay, like, I guess it's just my time. And then he has a dream. Or he thinks, like, can you imagine he's felt like, Oh, great dream. I'm escaping. And then he like wakes up if he's like, no, actually. You're right. Yeah. It's such a wild story. bizarre moment. And you're right, that they don't believe like this whole time the church with praying for that to happen. It's like, Guys, no, really. He's here.

Lindsay Benedetto:

I mean, the first thing I thought of this might be an overreach, I just, I don't know, I feel like this is how I approach the scriptures as a whole sometimes. But, you know, when I was read the bit about Rhoda, I immediately thought of Mary Magdalene, and how she's the first as a female, to see the risen Jesus. And he's like, Go tell your brothers, and she runs as fast as she can. And I mean, the brothers, they receive her the same way. And I think she's crazy. I mean, she was previously possessed by seven demons or something crazy. And so they're just like there is there's no way that we have to see it for ourselves. And so I imagine Rhoda having that same experience. Again, it Rhoda is a female. And the first person to see peter out, well, she doesn't even really see him, right? She has she recognizes his voice and runs inside to tell the people and they look at her like she's crazy and in total disbelief until they finally make their way out to the gate and the door and they open it up. And everyone's astonished. And we don't really know much about Rhoda, but I just, I find it fascinating that there are so many instances throughout Scripture where the women are the first to understand they're the first to see, they're the first to go and tell. And I really just appreciate that detail. I appreciate that. In some instances, the women are no names in others, you know, we have their name, but we know very little about them, you know, outside the context of the story that they're included in. And I don't know, it was just it was a little aside for me, but just really love. I don't love how they treated her that

Kate Boyd:

crazy. Awesome. Funny. So in the one Bible, I used to prepares the cultural background study Bible. And it talks about how slave women were also you were all often used like in Greek comedy as like the fool the butt of the joke. And it turns out that like here, it's slipped to where the people are the fools and the slave woman. Yeah. Like no, I have it figured out and you're not paying attention. And so it's a really sort of even like, clever from a literary perspective that Luke No, actually something that they would have recognized, you know, she should be the one that doesn't understand like, she should have been like, No, it's not Peter cut, whatever, you know, Peter, he'd like appear in the living room or something, you know, right. But they're like, no, she gets it by his voice. She knows. Yes, she's aware. And she runs off to tell them and they just don't get it. Becky, how about you about the escape? And we the real reunion That's the

Becky Gonzalez:

word I was like. Yeah, I just wow, what really struck me is, I mean, we've mentioned it before, that they're praying for this. They're praying for a miracle. And the miracle literally, literally walks up to the door and knocks on the door, say, Hey, I'm here, guys. Yep. And they didn't believe it. And I just, I was just struck with with just the, the humanity of these people, you know, they're, and they're believing and then, you know, their prayers are answered, but it took them half a second, you know, it took them a little bit to, to go to it and see it for themselves. And I don't know, I was just really, I was just really struck by that. And the fact that Rhoda did I mean, she immediately she recognized Peters voice and she, she knew she knew that she knew this is Peter. And, and she acted on that. So

Kate Boyd:

this little detail at the end, like in verse 19. When Herod searched for him and couldn't find him, he obviously examined the guards and put them to death. And then it was like then he went from Judea. necessery and stayed there. So he might have been embarrassed, right? He's put on this big show. Yeah. And sounds like No, I'm just gonna leave and pretend like none of it ever happened.

Becky Gonzalez:

For him doing this was hey, the people are like they're gonna like this, right? Oops, are not gonna like this so much. Oh, here.

Kate Boyd:

Yep. And then so then we see we see good all Herod standing up in his fancy robes that may have had silver woven into them, which is why they were sparkly. Yeah, giving his address and meeting and not so nice. And Lindsay, what stood out what jumped out in the section for you?

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yes. Well, I just my knee jerk reaction when I read this before I went into my total Rabbit, rabbit trail on this was. Yeah, sorry, thinking of my words, how I wanted to phrase it. But you know, I think when I read it the first time through, I thought, Man that feels a lot like justice. That feels a lot like that's exactly. This idea of being up in front of the people being praised for being a god or God like, receiving it as if he deserves it, because there was probably some genuine belief in his mind that like, Yes, I deserve this as King of the people, they love me. And then it says he's just an angel, the Lord strikes and down and he he's eaten by worms and then dies. And so this concept of being brought so low to be eaten by war, I mean, worms like, number one. Number two, the lowliest of creatures like they live in the dirt. It's so it just felt a lot like stick it to him. That that was well, well deserved. And of course, the eaten by worms bit is where I sort of went on a little rabbit trail, because I wanted to understand is this a literal, eaten by worms? Yeah, right. Like, did the people actually witnessed this? Did he die on the spot when he was struck down by an angel? Like, what? I don't understand how this happens. And so did a little deep dive. And some of what I found was that this concept of being eaten by worms is actually seen a lot in ancient Greek literature that kings or emperors who were seen as opposing the gods, or a god, or the one true God, were actually struck by some, you know, sort of disease, and they received, you know, like a parasite, or they were also eaten by worms. So, this, it's more like a literary feature to the text. It's not that Herod was actually eaten by worms and some of what Josephus writes as this ancient historian is that he was, you know, immediately whisked away to his chamber where he's in pain for five days before he succumbs to ultimate death. And so he could have had some sort of ulcer in his stomach. I mean, I read a couple of different accounts on things. But just thought it was really fascinating that this particularly gruesome detail in the story is often in other historical stories attached to an emperor king or ruler, who, you know, opposes the gods in some way. And so that would have been, the people would have understood that they would have understood this detail as being like other literary pieces that they had been told, or had read about. And also, what was fascinating is that his grandfather, King Herod the Great, also died by some crazy kidney infection slash disease of the genitals. I mean, it's even weird coming out of my mouth talking about it. Um, but yeah, I mean, the entire bloodline is corrupt, right? All the haircuts are bad, is it all bad news, and they die similarly, in the same way. And so the chapter, you know, I think, as weird and gruesome and odd as it is for it to end this way, we sort of see like, there is nothing that will thwart God's plans, right? He stands up in front of the people, accepts all the praise his God and Gods like, sends an angel of the Lord to strike him down. And he dies in the most lowly way possible. And so it's sort of like, I mean, can't Trump

Kate Boyd:

God's will? Yeah, I, I love when I find literary details like that. Because I think we can get a lot by reading the text plainly, and but at the same time, like, when you learn little things like that, and how they're associated with different things, it brings us like extra dimension to it. Yeah. As literature like, there, he's writing a narrative. Luke considers himself a historian, you know, he's doing this in a very particular way. And so it's interesting to me when I learned things like that. Because if you just take it literal, it's still interesting, and you kind of get it, but you don't get the full thrust of what's going on where, like, his God is like, No, you messed up, you oppose what I'm doing, even though he was being very Jewish, and getting rid of the people who were not Jewish, you know, who were opposing the Jewish thing. And so it sort of puts God's stamp of approval on this new movement in a way that you wouldn't pick up on if you didn't see that little detail, which is really interesting to me.

Lindsay Benedetto:

Yeah. Agreed. I, you know, I think, Kate, you do such a good job of this, and some of your other podcast episodes that I've listened to, and even on your reels on Instagram in talking about the Bible as a literary work. And that's something I've explored, just recently, the last couple of years, because how I was raised, we never talked about the Bible as story. One big story, a piece of literary work that every individual who wrote something that was included in the scriptures is also bringing in culture and context from other stories and writings of the time, something that would have made total sense to the people. And so yeah, I love that you explore this a lot, and that you talk about it pretty openly that yes, the Bible is inerrant in the Word of God also, not meant to be taken, literally. I mean, if we just read this didn't give glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. I mean, like you said, there's so much more nuance and complexity that we miss in reading the scriptures that way. So yeah. So your question like, what's your rabbit trail? I mean, I just loved it, because it got me thinking about, you know, the scripture in a new way.

Kate Boyd:

I think on another dimension, if we look ahead to chapters into chapter 14, we see Paul and Barnabas in a place and they preach the Word of God, right? They give the message. And everyone there is convinced that they're the gods, and they go out of their way to correct them. Yeah, that here Aaron's like, Yeah, well, of course, I'm gonna take that in. And so it is sort of interesting when you're putting the whole thing together. And you see the results, right. Yeah. I think eventually, even in that place, people got mad at them. And were Yeah, they, they actually, like thought they stoned Paul to death, but they didn't. But like that Paul's response was so different, and how they did that. And so it is, I had never put those two together before but having read the other one before this and talked about it with some people, and it's sort of it's an interesting juxtaposition, especially as we're looking at again, this is a Jewish guy, and they're going to Gentiles, even though they're Jews because it's Paul and Barnabas again. But you start to see some of those. You see a lot of parallels. And I see this a lot like you'll see over and over how all the writers are always paralleling other people who are in power to the movement of Jesus or to Jesus himself throughout the whole New Testament, even in the letters that Paul writes, you see a lot of those dynamics. And, and so yeah, this Christ is King Christ is God thing is like, is really subversive. And everyone handles it differently. And it's really interesting to watch unfold. If you look at it, yeah, he will get scripture through that dynamic, Becky, how about you?

Becky Gonzalez:

Um, I thought, well, verse, verse 24, says, after we, you know, we've just read about Herod and the worms and all of that immediately, but the Word of God spread, and multiply. And then if you keep reading, after they had completed their relief mission, which we had just heard about an x 11, that relief mission for that, that famine, relief, Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, taking along John who was called Mark. And so it just kind of kind of struck me not in a cold callous way. But just God's work continues, you know, that the work of the Lord continues, and it's, it's usually born from, from this opposition, and these, these really horrible things that are happening around them, you know, the word of the gut, the word of God spread and multiplied. And then they continued with their, with their relief mission, and continued the work that God had set in front of them. So I just, they were not deterred. They were not. They were not swayed. They just okay. This is this is what God said, we've got to do, and this is what we're going to keep doing. So yeah, that was, that was very impactful.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Gosh, I mean, I know, it's like, it wasn't even a lot of stories compared to a lot of the parts and acts. But I think these though, they were short, were so rich in detail. Yeah, I feel like we get so much good stuff. So I really, yeah, I'm enjoy talking about them. So now let's wrap up with our takeaways. Wednesday, do you have a me thought and, uh, we thought to share from our discussion? Yeah, I

Lindsay Benedetto:

mean, I think this is, you know, me, and we, but just the overarching sense I get from these two chapters is that we can do nothing apart from a work of the Holy Spirit. And it's explicitly stated in these two chapters. But then there are some implied instances where, you know, it was a work of the Lord, the hand of God was upon them when this happens, no matter what the Word of God increased in multiplied and so I love the personal reminder that we all bring what we have to the table, and we're gifted and unique in that way. And still, you know, apart from the Holy Spirit, we can do no thing that salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit only, we can be participants in that process. And so as a whole, that's, you know, my, my we and my knee. But then also, one other overarching idea for me is that, you know, nothing can thwart God's plan. No, Becky, I think you brought to the end there that, but the Word of God increased and multiplied. You know, that's actually how the chapter ends, not Herod's death. And so we're given this just beautiful glimpse of God's glory that no matter what, no matter, trial, suffering, nothing can thwart God's plan. So those are my big knees and wheeze.

Kate Boyd:

Becky, how about you?

Becky Gonzalez:

Um, yeah, I think my big me. Chapter 11 starts with talking about the unity that that the body of Christ is going to experience now bringing these tunnels together. And the opposite of unity is division. So prior to that unity there, there was a division between the Jews and the Gentiles. And I was just thinking, you know, there is action that is required to kind of cross the lines of division. And so Jesus models that in the cross and what he accomplished there to kind of to cross that line and bridge that gap, that division between God and man, he accomplished in the cross. And so in the same way, Jesus crossing the lines of division between God and man on the cross, Peter responds to the spirits leading in a dream. And he eats with the uncircumcised, how dare he, it's an action on his part to do that. And so it should be the same as me. And there has to be action on my part in order to cross those lines of division. And then kind of the we thought kind of morphs from that. Whatever action on my part that I do to cross those lines of division, it has to be born from a reliance on the Holy Spirit. Yeah, the Unity doesn't happen. Without the Holy Spirit. Doesn't matter how many actions I take on my part, it has to be born from the spirit that give to the Spirit. And that's what makes the Unity possible. Not the actions that I do. Heat or having breaking bread with the uncircumcised. Didn't make it happen. It was the Holy Spirit that brought that about. And so yeah, those are those are my big, big takeaways, crossing lines of division. And, yeah, unity is impossible. Without without the Spirit, we need to rely on him.

Kate Boyd:

That's such a good point. Because I think sometimes we just want to like, Why can't everyone get along, but it's not like it has to be marched through. And they didn't ignore some of the bigger issues like we see later. It does cause issues, but they work through them together. Yeah. Okay, my me thought I just keep thinking of little Rhoda. Yeah, she's probably not little, but in my mind, you know, they're sort of treating her like a little girl. And so I just wanted, like, even though they knew like, they were praying fervently for him, and so I, I want to expect the miracle. Even if it doesn't happen, I want to be a person who expects it. And I want to be a person who believes that it happens when someone says it's happy. Like, I think sometimes we're like, Well, I mean, we don't want to do that, because I think we're afraid to expect or hope for a miracle sometimes. But I want to be a person. Like I believe miracles happen. I really do. And so I want to be a person who remembers that and encourages that, even if sometimes that means I'm disappointed. Yeah. And then my we thought, yeah, I keep going back to 11. And where we see that the Holy Spirit is the sign, right. Like, if we have seen that that gift is in them, how can I hinder that? And, you know, I'm, I'm very, like, knowing the right things or saying the right things, or, you know, all of these, I like being certain about stuff, first of all. And the other thing is that, you know, for a lot of my life, right, belief determined everything. And while I think right believe is important, and that's something that we grow into. And I think, you know, right action and the Holy Spirit, which compels that action, right, the fruit of the Spirit is, is the sign that we're in and that we're together, and that it brings about all that other stuff like Unity, which would eventually be unity in belief at some point, right. And so I think it's really important for me to continue to remember that as much as I like, to give people the knowledge to get it right, or whatever it is, right. But I think not judging people based on what they do or don't know, or how they do or don't believe. And really looking at, you know, the character and the fruit of Spirit in them. And being like, you know what, that's enough for me, I don't have to judge you on anything else, because I know that you're in. And that's not I mean, it's not even about being in and out, I thought was a poor way to phrase that. But like, if that's the sign, yeah. That's the sign I want to look for and hold as the highest thing because if that worked for Peter to welcome in Gentiles, who obviously didn't believe the same things that he probably, even if they were sympathetic to Judaism probably didn't and like if that was good enough for them, then it should be good enough for me. And so I'm trying to in to encourage that in the way that I go about interacting with people is to encourage not just I believe that right? Action right becoming at the same time thank you so much for joining us. If you enjoyed this discussion, I would love it if you would rate and review the show on your favorite podcast player. You know the drill. This helps more people find the show and learn with us as we talk through Scripture. And then I would love if you came over on social media to talk about what your big takeaways were, what your meet thought, and we thought were from our discussion, or for when you dope into chapters. You can find me on Instagram at Kate boyd.co and on Twitter at v Kate Boyd. And don't forget to check the show notes to find and follow today's contributors. Thank you for joining

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