9/15/2023 DAB Transcript pt2

There is a tension and it’s fair to acknowledge the tension that they had to wrestle with. On the one hand you have, you have Jesus, the Jewish Messiah who was a Jew, who was born Jewish, who grew up Jewish, who operated in a Jewish context, who did his ministry in that context. So, Hebrew believers couldn’t imagine like abandoning their…their whole worldview and religious convictions surrounding the Mosaic law, especially since Jesus was a rabbi in the Jewish environment. On the other hand, Gentiles, had never known about Moses. They don’t have this worldview. They don’t know any of the rules and rituals that…that you would need to adhere to on like in a continual way as a Jew. So, it was hard to think about how these brothers and sisters who never really knew any of this, how they’re gonna be able to live up to something that people who were born into it, couldn’t live up to. So, you got this theological and religious tension going on, but it’s like even…even bigger than that. A lot of the Jew/Gentile problems were social, they were cultural. Jews…Jews kept to themselves. They…they separated themselves. They were not mixed in. So, they…they did not have cordial relationships with Gentiles. They looked at the Gentiles in their world as their oppressors because the Gentiles were Romans and Romans often were marginalizing and segregating the Jews. And so, that that…that creates a hierarchy in the culture. Like people groups that don’t really shouldn’t be seen together right. That stuff is still being wrestled with, which is ironic because most of the New Testament and Paul’s writings are just railing against that kind of behavior. But because of the prejudice, because of the hierarchy, because of the fear between the people groups, they were not in any kind of position to have a meaningful, like familial, like he we are part of the same family of God. We got a look at each other as human beings, we are equals together in this kingdom. That’s very, very difficult thing. So, we have lots of believers trying to live in both worlds, and we got a pretty good glimpse of that tension in our reading today when Paul discussed…discussed a direct confrontation with the apostle Peter over his hypocrisy because he was acting one way among the Gentiles and then another way among the Jewish people. And so, we see that this was a tricky time. The thing is, what’s the big deal? Like if the big deal is who gets to be in, then that’s a conversation and that conversation was settled at the Jerusalem Council. But what’s, why is Paul so uptight about this? Is it that he wants to be in control of the things that he founded, and is willing to sort of cause division and fight over it. I don’t think so. I think what Paul’s fighting for and he’s fighting vigorously for this, is freedom. Because for Paul, the law was fulfilled in Jesus and all who believe in Jesus are included in that fulfillment. It was faith that mattered to Paul. We’ve already seen that, and we’ll see that throughout the rest of his writings. It was faith, not adherence to the law and these ethnic and hierarchical social constructs that are separating Jews and Gentiles.