Jesus Creed

Jerusalem.jpgNow on to Jerusalem (replica to your left of the old ancient core), which begins a long but final set of episodes in Acts: Paul gets there, suspicion is aroused, he’s taken into custody, and eventually ends up in prison in Rome — but undeterred in his gospel preaching.

The singular issue concerns Paul’s observance of Torah and whether or not his churches are Torah-observant. Notice these words, and I am suggesting these words shed light on what today is often called messianic Judaism: is it to be observant? (According to this text, I’d say yes.) This issue is discussed clearly in Beverly Gaventa: Acts Abingdon New Testament Commentaries
The strategy is to demonstrate Paul’s Torah observance by taking a vow along with others. Paul, it is said, follows the Torah, and the Gentiles do to a much lesser degree.
What do I see here for missional: that sometimes missional work involves overt acts that demonstrate one’s theology and obedience.

Acts 21:

 21:18 The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were there. 21:19 When Paul had greeted them, he began to explain in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 21:20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers of the law21:21 They have been informed about you – that you teach all the Jews now living among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 21:22 What then should we do? They will no doubt hear that you have come. 21:23 So do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow; 21:24 take them and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with the law21:25 But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided that they should avoid meat that has been sacrificed to idols and blood and what has been strangled and sexual immorality.” 21:26 Then Paul took the men the next day, and after he had purified himself along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice of the completion of the days of purification, when the sacrifice would be offered for each of them. 
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