A Blanket Full of Bacon
This is Shirley. I'm joined by my co host. Jim Wilkin JT English. I wish we should just give you everything off the it was just a repository Eh. One day we will put that on. Today's episode we are an ax to look at a blanket. Full of Bacon in acts chapter. Ten hope you enjoyed the discussion hey. Jt why did did you immediately come in here and make fun of my Mug. There's this problem like we have these huge coffee mugs in here right now and I can't fit my coffee Mug in my ears. Looks like it in your mind ends Jenas but it's big like that's like a gallon or so over there we had a microphone in there. The microphone with your your Coffee Mug. It's a to hold it with both hands. Yes driving a small bucket. uh-huh drive and your yeah. This is interesting Well we are back. And today we're talking about acts chapter ten and a blanket full of Bacon And so just figuring out what's happening in acts chapter ten and well you know what. Let me tell you something. You're you're never going to indict me for not having an interesting episode title. Just I'm like I'm free from that. Ah Chan what would you call this episode pigs in a blanket. That happened off air. We were very proud of that. We brought it back on here. You know we we're GONNA leave people without pigs in a blanket so then I had a weird moment after that hit me when we actually my daughter I want to give her credit. She's the one who was like Mama teaching pigs in a blanket. And then I took everything in me to resist googling to see if there was actual a tie between the tidal title pigs in a blanket and this chapter really like I thought maybe the International House of pancakes red x ten and then named it back. Wow Oh oh wait. Wait wait so so you thought that it was possible that the idea because of the head coach for a viable. Wow you're so. Yeah Bible rival literary you're like the beautiful mind person maybe where you're just like though subject to further discussion. Well today. We're talking about about pigs in a blanket or a blanket full of Bacon. We're an act SHEPPERTON. Let's just do a quick recap so far jen. How did we tax ten? I mean wh where have we been at before we got here. Well Kyle. It's been a long haul. No actually it's been really good we've gone through So the first half of is focusing mainly on the the emergence of the Ministry of Peter Within the narrative and So the first half of the book wraps up at the around the end of chapter twelve. And so. When you're in chapter ten you would know? Then we're really getting disordered. The the main point of what's happening in Peter's Ministry and interestingly right before you get to chapter ten ten you see the conversion of Saul so the Texas has spent a lot of time talking about Sol And we actually did on an earlier podcast and so you can kind of get get the sense that oh well I guess. Now we're gonNA talk about Saul Slash Paul and Saul Slash. Paul is commonly thought of as The one who takes the Gospel to the gentlemen tiles and said it's a little bit of a surprising. Turn when we flash back to Peter and find that actually. This is a story about Peter Taking the Gospel to the Gentile Anti. And he's GonNa he definitely gets kicked their right. It's not like he's not looking for the opportunity right. He wasn't. He wasn't out vision-casting for the Gospel. Going forward right Paul right with the Lord Kinda seized him into it right. Hold them into it. And that's the story Enact Shepperton focusing on Peter Cornelius and so I and also what's brought us to this point is like this expansion. This sort of ratcheting out of the Vision for who the Gospel is going to go to. And so I it comes to the Jew and then you start seeing you know like. Oh there's the Ethiopian Eunuch you know it's like each each vignette that's in here of WHO Receives The Gospel. Is this this this picture of the Gospel going as Jesus said in acts one eight from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and so this week is the ends of the earth and so and this is a fascinating story right right Oh man it's fantastic. I mean it's just it's really interesting just from like a history of redemption perspective. It's really interesting from a Kosh the spirit moving and Peter Peter and Cornelius perspective. It's interesting from what our visions and dreams perspective. It's interesting from a just like the pictures that are are interesting. They agers so it's just a fascinating story so we're not going to be able to read the whole story of petering to Cornelius. Because it's it's long it would take we're trusting when we cover these chapters. You're maybe reading along with us or you're familiar with the story. So the broad kind of contour here just to give us like a big arc of acts chapter. Tim Is that Pete. There's this guy named Cornelius Milius And Cornelius is a centurion of what was known as the Italian cohort and it says that he was a devout man who feared God with all his household he gave generously to the people and he prayed continually to God and that he is going to have a vision and that vision is going to be the Lord speaking to him And that around the same time Peter seems to be having having a vision and that is a vision that involves pigs in blankets. Hallelujah yes and so oh I think one of the questions that we immediately ask ourselves here is. What's the big deal between gentiles and Jews like? Why is this even talking point of significance at all like y casual reader of the Bible? And you get to this story. Why did Peter have to be kicked so to speak into bringing the good news to Cornelius? He is why wasn't that. Just a factor like hey I mean Jesus has come. This is good news. Why not bring it to everybody? Yeah I mean I think one of the main themes that we're going to see probably throughout this. This episode is the significance of promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis chapter. Twelve verse three Specifically that that That Abraham or Abram Room at the time was this man who was going to be elected for the purpose of his family than blessing the nations events he subsequently in Genesis. Fifteen and. Seventeen this this Promise promise of the good news. Of God's favor and blessing being given to Abraham and going through Abraham there is a sign given to this covenant specifically the sign of circumcision which is now the Jewish people. It's the Israelites and but over. The course of time I think they began to to forget that the purpose of their election of the Gospel the good news being given to them was actually not just for them but elections for the purpose of others of blessing the nations corporately and they begin developing a spiritual superiority based based upon this sign of circumcision. And it could not see how God would bless or or make somebody clean. who was in their mind unclean unless they they had been circumcised so really when you come to the New Testament one of the primary questions that is being asked like their their theological conversation is around this question? Do you have to be Jewish right in order to be a Christian. We're GONNA see this later in acts chapter fifteen at the Jerusalem Council. But that's really what's happening. Luke is doing. He's giving us a theological narrative errative to show us that the primary question that that that that God is trying to show his church is that by intentions. The whole time has been to bless everybody to bus the gentiles. Not just Jews but gentiles through the Jews yeah Because obviously the Messiah comes through Abraham's family right well and one of the reasons that we wouldn't read through this on the on the podcast Is because it repeats itself. So God's right and and and one of the things that we have to ask then is like the R- the repetition is like we get all the details over. I mean the the number of times that Simon the tanner who lives by the sea is mentioned. In these in these retailing's you're like stop and and it's repeated three times. The story is repeated three times. And they're actually a number of threes in the story Or multiples of three. That are are trying to tell us something They're we're going to be three men who accompany that. Go to get Peter. They're going to be six men that come with Peter Back to Cornelius House because they are bearing witness. It's the idea of on on the on the testimony. The money of two or three is the truth is something established. So that's all going on. The story is given to US three times. It itself is bearing witness and what we have to ask is why so much over and over again the same thing and it's because I think we we're looking back on something in and most of us are gentiles. We don't have a Jewish heritage and and we have to recall That this level of repetition and this much care taken around communicating this particular message about clean versus unclean about is is Christianity Eh Something that is placed within Judaism and grows out from it like. Do you have to observe Jewish custom that to the original audience. This is mind mind-blowing at the point that it is being given to them like it is like that cannot possibly be and yet it's in here three times because his. Jt said it it's the fulfillment is a fulfillment fulfillment passage for the promise. To Abraham that through him. All the families of the Earth would be blessed and I think it is easy for us to to to be dismissive of some of the tensions between the Jewish people. And somebody like Cornelius. Like it's not like the Israelite people were had no the reason to have a little bit of certainly hesitancy but if not if not just hesitancy but outright resistance to the idea idea of gentiles being heirs of the promises why because they had a history of being enslaved exiled and oppress by these groups of people right. That's right so like Cornelius when we kind of turn to the question of who is Cornelius with Cornelius. Is He's a leader. He's a soldier of an oppressing army occupying hang army exactly. So it's like the idea of Peter Going to Cornelius. And saying there's good news for you. Cornelius would be to bring the good news of Christ the Lord and this better kingdom to an oppressive enemy. That's exactly right and so it can feel a little bit like if you're reading this you're like well why the hesitation well not only were. There are strict tradit religious traditions that separated from cleanliness perspective Jews from gentiles engine towels from the inner presence of the Lord or the holiest places around the presence of Galway But there were also very big cultural and political realities that that kept division alive among Jews and gentiles so cornelius is a centurion It was What was known as the Italian cohort but he has described arrived as a devout man? Feared God with all his household gave generously to the people and pray continually to God. Now I wanted to pause here And just ask a little bit so coriolis just describe somebody who fears God and yet. He hasn't heard the good news of the Gospel. What's going on here right? Is this like the is this the sometimes. I read this passage. I feel like this is where people would go when they're like well you know there's somebody out there who maybe has never heard about the name of Jesus but it is like but does fear the Lord right so who. What does this mean? Why is this significant? I think this is a classic example of why we can't take the book of access prescriptive given everything that it's saying because what we're seeing as you're right at the hinge point right you're right at that place in between The way that we see faith demonstrated rated and credited his righteousness in the Old Testament and the way that we're going to see Belief in credit credited as faith and salvation in the New Testament I meant and Cornelius is right at the center of it. He's going to help us. Answer the question of how to salvation come by grace through faith alone has always been the answer but we would speak of like those is who are listed in Hebrews eleven as having looked forward to the promise of salvation and then New Testament believers is having looked back. He's right at Ground Zero and and so I think that what we see here. Well so just strictly in terms of what the text wants to communicate. He is a Jewish pro slight right so he is he. He is probably on the verge of conversion to Judaism so he's he's probably attending synagogue but he's not circumcised He someone who in the past would have been like if you think. Think about Rahab. She converts to Judaism or or or ruth is brought into the community. He's not yet in the community but it's interesting that he is already demonstrating. He has works to accompany his faith. So so I think what we're seeing here is a simple obedience to a forward-looking looking faith that is only forward looking in so far as no one has come to preach the Gospel to him yet. There there is a completeness to Gospel but he hasn't heard it yes. I actually don't think this is my hot. Take that when Peter Shares the Gospel with him. I'm not sure that that's the moment of salvation for him because we already see the Lord appearing to him and saying prayers MOMS have ascended as a memorial before God But I do think what we're seeing is. The connection of the idea of what is what has been salvation. An and now what is celebration. Yeah and we do see throughout acts. I don't know that we we've hit another one of these yet. But we do see these moments where there's essentially a group of Characters Jersey have a part of the story and that one of the apostles you gotta bring it to bring the other part of the story right so you see this with typically The receiving of the Holy Spirit or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. where it's like? You have a part of the story people like. Yeah I've been baptized by John. The baptist. Well there's there's more you know that like the the Christ price came that he died that he rose again and that he has sent the spirit right and so there are these kinds of points. I think it's important. You said that about Cornelius that there are so many scenes and acts where we need to fight. Maybe the the temptation to go okay. This is how salvation works As supposed to go okay. This is a very specific. Overlap moment in the history of redemption and this is one kind of cut away scene right of that very unique back once in a history redemption. Kind of moment. Yeah right that's right. Also just find a lot of comfort in the fact. That God was wasn't his providential ential over all of it in other words. This doesn't work if God isn't clearly. Directing writers clearly directing directing the men who were with them like God is moving moving all of these tectonic continental plates and there's there's just movement in redemptive history happening we get. We get this great confidence or assurance in this narrative narrative God ultimately is the one doing. Yes Yep that's good guy gets his people he doesn't have to be more anxious about God's mission than he is and Edberg. Yeah you're right Let's go. I needed to hear that today.