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2nd Week of Easter
Even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)
What an exciting time it must have been for the first Christians! Luke tells us that the number of disciples was increasing “greatly” (Acts 6:7). How many converts that translates to is anyone’s guess, but knowing that Peter brought three thousand to the Lord in one day, we can presume that it was a big number! And then Luke adds what we might call a throwaway line about some of those converts: “Even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith” (6:7).
It may seem like a small detail, but it’s not. While Jesus was alive, the Jewish priesthood had largely rejected him. Many of the chief priests were his bitter opponents, and some had connived with the scribes and Pharisees to have Jesus crucified.
Even those in the lower divisions of the priesthood, who were more likely to be sympathetic to Jesus, would have had to go through a radical turnaround in their thinking to accept him. Like many devout Jews of their time, they were expecting their Messiah to be a warrior king, not a crucified carpenter!
This one detail from Acts assures us that we can expect the unexpected. If the Holy Spirit could touch people so completely steeped in their traditions, he can touch anyone. Conversions do happen, even to those we might consider the least likely people. The friends and family members we have been lifting up to the Lord for years may be just a heartbeat away from turning to the Lord. They may be just waiting for an invitation or a witness from us to bring them to a decision of faith.
So never give up! If you have a son or daughter who is struggling, keep on praying! Your child’s story isn’t over yet, and neither is the story of your love for him or her. Try not to be argumentative or self-righteous; try to sow kindness and love instead. If you keep taking steps forward, even if they are baby steps, God will bless you. If you persist, you will find a breakthrough. Just keep leaning into his grace, trusting that he can do all things.
“Holy Spirit, touch the hearts of those who still don’t know Jesus as their Messiah. Help them experience the joy of salvation!”
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; John 6:16-21
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