Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses." The apostles and elders met to consider this question.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Pharisees who had become followers of Jesus Christ were arguing that Christianity should be a denomination within the greater umbrella faith of Judaism. In other words, they saw Jesus as a part of Judaism, not Judaism as a part of Jesus.
This is an incredibly important distinction, and although we might think it funny that the Pharisees took this approach, are we truly any different? For example, science theorizes about the "Origin of the Species," and instead of sticking with the Biblical truth that the world was created by God in six days, we try to fit our view of God into the theory of evolution. I've heard Christians arguing, "Well six days isn't really six days in God's world, a day could be a thousand years, so therefore evolution is a theoretically plausible and consistent explanation." Except for one thing: God created a day to be 24 hours, God said six days, and I believe He meant what He said.
The trap of course is when we try to fit God's explanations or instructions into the way we want things to be. Are you unhappy in your marriage? What has God said about the role of the husband and the wife? Does your marriage reflect God's instruction or is it based on your preferences? What about child rearing? How does God tell us to deal with unruly children? Do you follow God's instructions or the latest fad in child psychology? The Pharisees wanted Jesus to fit within their beliefs -- are we any different?
Questions to Ponder:What beliefs do you hold on to that are not consistent with Biblical truths? What Biblical instruction do you not understand or even ignore? Do you know what the Bible says about competition, divorce, gossip, sex, alcohol, etc? It might surprise you, perhaps its time to study in depth what God says about life. Is it time to let Jesus become the Lord of your life?