Acts 11

Peter scolded for being with uncircumcised men 1
Peter begins to explain his vision 4
He protested to the Lord 8
Three men came to the house and the Spirit sent him with them 11
The Holy Spirit fell on them 15
Scattering because of persecution 19
Barnabas sent to Antioch 22
Barnabas went to find Paul; Prophet Agabus sent to Antioch 25
Relief pledged for those in Judah 29
Text Comments
.1 ¶ And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
 2  And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
.3  Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
  1 - Gentiles This would have been somewhat shocking.
  2 - Contended From diakrino which has a variety of meanings. Here they had separated themselves from Peter.
  3 - Wentest in or "entered." See ac1028.
  3 - Men uncircumcised In their minds this must have been equivalent to going in to a prostitute.
.4  But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
.5  I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
 6  Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered [pondered], and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
 7  And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
  4 - Rehearsed See ac1009ff.
  5 - Came even to me The sheet was brought to Peter.
.8  But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
 9  But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
 10  And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
  9 - God has cleansed call not ...  Some who read this passage believe that it cancels the clear statement in Leviticus 11 about clean and unclean creatures. The lesson is about people not food. The Jews had acquired the idea that those not of their ethnic background were unclean.
  10 - Drawn up Compare ac1016.
.11  And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
 12  And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:
 13  And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
 14  Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
  12 - Brethren They were now his brothers in Christ.
.15  And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
 16  Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
 17  Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
.18  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
  18 - Held ... glorified According some manuscripts, they were at first quiet, then began to praise God.
  18 - Granted repentance God gives us a measure of faith ro1203, then repentance ro0204, 2ti0225. They had changed hearts.
.The story picks up from ac0804. The interlude has covered several evangelism reports.
.19  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
 20  And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
 21  And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
  19 - Persecution In Jerusalem ac0801.
  19 - Jews only The gospel was gradually beginning to be preached to Gentiles as is clear in the verses which follow.
  19 - Phenice Or Phonecia the area of Tyre and Sidon.
  19 - Antioch Capital of Syria and fourth largest city in the Empire.
  20 - Grecians The term indicated non-Jews.
  20 - Preaching See ac1036.
  21 - Great number believed We cannot expect to find "a great number" who would listen if we do not pray with faith. ac0247, ac0404, ac0514, ac0806, ac0607, ac0931, ac1124.
.22  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
 23  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
.24  For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
  22 - Tidings of these things Or "the report concerning them." Reference to the report from Antioch.
  22 - Church ... in Jerusalem " This was the original, the mother Church of Christianity; not the Church of Rome; there were Christian Churches founded in many places, which exist to the present day, before Rome heard the Gospel of the kingdom. A Christian Church means a company of believers in Christ Jesus, united for the purposes of Christian fellowship, and edification in righteousness." (Clarke) See ac0814.
.25  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
.26  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
.27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
.28  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
  26 - Were called Christians Rather, "received the name of Christians." They apparently didn't give it to themselves and the Jews would not have used it.
  27 - In these days ... prophets Luke, in writing the account of Acts and in his gospel, is not strictly chronological. See ac1127 here and ac1201. The events of the first part of chapter 12 may have been verses 26 and 27.
  28 - Agabus We see him again in ac2110. History records a famine.
.29  Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:   29 - Disciples The word means "followers." Here they would be followers of Christ   members of the church of antioch v26.
  29 - According to his ability You may have heard that we can't outdo the Lord in giving (contributing to the needs of the church). We should be careful in what we mean by this. God is certainly able to bless us more than we can imagine ep0320, mal0310. He expects our loyal support of the advancement of the gospel but we are also to care for the needs of our families 1ti0508. Here, the church members at Antioch gave according to their ability.
.30  Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.   30 - Elders Greek presbuteroi or older ones. These would have been men in that society although women were also prominent ac1704. This is the first use of the term for the church although it was commonly used in secular society at the time. It was used for church leaders 1pe0501 and for lay members of the Jewish Sanhedrin ac0405. The offices of elder and bishop were distinct at a later time but were used for the same responsibility in the early church. Compare 1ti0302-7, tt0105-9. A duty of elders is seen in ja0514. Compare nu1116.
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