Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Outside In . . .

Acts 9:26-43    Joshua 5:2-6:27    Job 23

“Meanwhile he stayed . . . with a certain Simon, a tanner”  (Acts 9:43). While in Joppa, Peter stayed with Simon the tanner. This is not a small detail. As a tanner of hides, Simon worked with animal carcasses. This, according to Jewish law, made him unclean and, therefore, a person to be avoided. And Peter stayed with him “for some time.” In so doing, Peter followed Jesus himself in mingling with outsiders and welcoming them into the story of God’s love and grace . . .  Such rule-breaking behaviors are woven throughout the scriptures, are they not? Read on.

“Rahab the prostitute with her family and all who belonged to her, Joshua spared”  (Joshua 6:25). And to this is added, “Her family has lived in Israel ever since.” I should say so. In fact, as Matthew 1:5 reports, Rahab becomes part of Jesus’ family tree. Rahab the prostitute. Rahab the foreigner. And her entire family. Became part of the people of God. Why? Because she helped the Israelite spies who somehow ended up in her house (Joshua 2:1)? Yes. But also because God has a way of bringing those who are outside, in. This, despite the many prohibitions in the Law against mixing with foreigners . . . It is a truth worth pondering; especially in the midst of the mayhem that also inhabits the pages of Israel’s history.

Simon the Tanner . . . Rahab the Prostitute . . . Outsiders welcomed into the story. Good news for me. Good news for you? Go and do likewise. Amen.


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