Shorashim - Hebrew for "Roots"
Shorashim - Hebrew for "Roots"

The Common Wealth Of Israel

Introduction

Peter's vision of a sheet filled with unclean foods

In Acts 10 we see the arival of Cornelius' angel, Peter's vision of a sheet full of unclean foods, and our entry to the "Common-wealth" of Israel...


"... But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Messiah. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility...


... Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household."

 

(Ephesians 2: 13, 14 and 19)

This is a BIG deal for Luke

He tells the original story of the event in Acts 10:1-48.


He discusses it again, along with the controversy it causes, in Acts 11:1-18.
Then, for a third time, he retells the implications of Cornelius' conversion in Acts 15:6-11.

 

And this is why...


"... remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men) — remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world."

 

(Ephesians 2: 11-12)

Going Deeper

Go deeper - work your mind...

In this study, we look deeper at the main protagonists in the story: primarily the Roman, Cornelius, and the Jew, Peter.


Cornelius the "God-fearer":

  • Worships the God of Israel, attends synagogue, and lives many of the standards of the Torah.
  • "devout and God-fearing" (10:2).
  • Gives "gifts to the [Jewish] poor" (10:4)
  • "a righteous and God-fearing man" (10:22).
  • "respected by all the Jewish people" (10:22).
  • He is a Gentile (10:28).
  • He prays at the designated hours of Jewish prayer (10:30).
  • But he is not a convert, not circumcised (11:3).

 

Peter's Eureka! Moment:

  • Peter simply doesn't understand the meaning of the vision, which supports the fact that it cannot have been about clean and unclean foods.
  • Acts 10:17, "While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision...
  • Acts 10:19,"While Peter was still thinking about the vision."
  • Then God tells Peter to go with the gentile visitors to go and see Cornelius, which is when he experiences his own "Eureka!" moment...

 

Acts 10:34b and 35,"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right."

 

Acts 15:7-9, "God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith."

 

Jewish Tzedakah and Prayer:

  • We take a look at two Jewish aspects in the story, tzedakah and prayer
  • Tzedakah – Acts of Righteousness (צדקה‎) Commonly translated as "charity", it's based on the word tzedek (צדק) - righteousness, fairness or justice. 1300 years later, Rambam (Maimonides) said that the highest form is to give a gift or loan to ensure the recipient can support himself instead of living off others.

 

Nudging, then breaking through the barrier

And we finish by looking at a couple of instances where the barrier of separation between Jew and Gentile in the salvation history of humanity is nudged and then eventually broken, with God taking the lead in every way.


"... But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Messiah. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility... Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household."

 

(Ephesians 2: 13, 14 and 19)

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Comments

  • Ian Banks (Thursday, January 02 14 08:17 pm GMT)

    You have 613 laws in Torah , which ones do you think you dont need? Paul seems to be hot and cold with his law. He gets Timothy circumcised yet preaches it will be of no value! He supports 4 who have
    taken a vow to prove that he does not preach against the law yet relaxes all dietary rules becoming as a gentile to the gentiles. Peter in this teaching of yours brings both objections to G-d yet is
    shown it doesnt apply to food , so afterwards he could not relax his diet. Peter sums up in front of Cornelius that G-d accepts everybody who does right, how does this acceptance that G-d has granted
    change now that Peter starts to declare a gospel of sorts...it seems that G-ds acceptance was sufficient without a run through of the gospel and a call to repentance..they were already there and had
    already been saved before Peter got there? Peters involvement would seem to be in developing the instant but small church. What do you think?

  • Andy (Thursday, January 02 14 08:55 pm GMT)

    Really good post, Ian. Thanks. Have you checked out our section on "Torah Refiscovered"? It's worth a few minutes of your time, especially as this is such a big and emotive subject.

    If I understand you correctly, I think we need to first agree on the purpose of Torah - for the Jew, for the Gentile, and in time and chronology.

    For sure, one if the lines of demarcation would be are we saved by obedience to Torah? I would say categorically "no", as have many non-Messianic Rabbis through the ages. Does it, therefore, lose
    it's validity and role? Also, emphatically, "no". It is still G-d's plumb line and blueprint for life, for Jew and Gentile.

    There is a bigger discussion to be had here, which I'd like to continue in dialogue with you (and others, should they care to join us). What do you think?

    And don't forget to take at our teaching on Torah at http://www.shorashim.co.uk/messianic-yeshiva/the-word-of-god/

    Blessings... Andy

  • online homeschooling programs (Saturday, May 24 14 09:41 am BST)

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  • home based business (Sunday, May 25 14 06:44 am BST)

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