Sunday, August 22, 2010
Enemies Become Family
I recall the scene in the Book of Acts where Stephen is giving the account of his faith and the religionists of the day can hardly stand to hear him. The text says that they gnashed upon him with their teeth, and rushed to stone him to death.
Gnashed with their teeth. The sort of thing a crazy man does. And in this instance who was crazy? The one telling of God's faithful keeping of His people up to and including the arrival of Messiah? Or the ones insisting on viciously quenching the message which threatened their stultifying tradition?
Doubtless many of these persecutors were eventually horrified by their action here, learned more of the Christian community in their midst, repented and were saved. Among that number was Saul of Tarsus, eventually to become the Apostle Paul.
The immediately preceding post on this blog (dealing with the Elliot story of missions to Ecuador) provoked me to re-visit this concept of enemies becoming members of the family of faith. I see this as a tremendous aspect of revival in the coming days. There is just too much grasping and brutishness around us. This will draw many to repent and to reach out for the "living water" to be found only in Christ. Mercy will become beautiful in their eyes.
Take a look at the video which is posted here showing that famous scene from the movie classic Ben Hur. The carpenter of Nazareth steps forward to offer water to the thirst-ravaged Ben Hur, a member of a slave chain gang bound for the galley ships of Rome. The commanding Roman officer steps forward with his whip, but is powerless to stop this act of mercy. Indeed, deep within, he does not want to stop it. Would he someday in the near future, throw in his lot with the followers of the Galilean? End the craziness?