Doing some preparation for another evangelistic study tonight. Pray for the young man Wash. Here are some notes I jotted down for my own use.
• The passage about the widows in Acts 6 starts and ends the same way: “the number of the disciples was multiplying” (v. 1); “the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly” (v. 7). Maybe Luke has a hint for us: Those churches that grow take care of their own.
• Remember that word devote in Acts 2.42? Same word for Simon the ex-magician: “after being baptized he stayed constantly with Philip” (Acts 8.13 MRI). Here are some other renderings:
- “he stayed close to Philip constantly” (NET, see NRSV).
- “he went around constantly with Philip” (HCSB).
- “He began following Philip wherever he went” (NLT).
- “attached himself closely to Philip” (JBP).
- “he stayed very close to Philip” (EXB).
- “he was like Philip’s shadow” (MSG).
No version says that he stuck to Philip like glue, but that’s the idea. Now, context determines meaning, and we want to respect the structural and textual differences between 2.42 and 8.13, but you get the idea of the word from Simon’s actions. That first church stuck together in everything. A pretty good example for us.
• Sins get wiped clean. That’s Peter’s image in Acts 3.19. The word refers to wiping up a liquid, as when you spill your smoothie on the kitchen table. So NET, “wiped out,” and OEB, “wiped away.” That sounds better than “blotted out.” Sounds like they’re still underneath the blotting. The word is just one of many wonderful terms to describe how God deals with our sins.