Connect with Culture

Paul is the guru of understanding another culture and being appropriate to it so he is able to preach the good news of Jesus.

Acts 16.1-15

Reference:  v.3 Paul wanted to take him (Timothy) along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. (NIV Bible)

Explore:  This passage took me a little by surprise.  In the chapter just gone past we read of Paul taking a letter to the Gentiles saying they don't need to be circumcised to believe in Jesus.  Now, only verses afterwards, we hear of Paul circumcising his own travel partner so it does not hinder their ministry to the Jews in the area.  Is this hypocritical?  Does Paul have different sets of rules for different people?
I actually think this shows the extent to which Paul will go to connect with a particular group of people.  He is the guru of understanding another culture and being appropriate to it so he is able to preach the good news of Jesus.  I am not male but I think that it's Timothy who actually endured the pain in this situation, however Paul does not want to limit their impact with the Jews by something that could be changed.

Application:  Do we hinder our connection with our neighbours by things that can be changed?  As mentioned previously, sometimes we get so caught up in the itty-bitty details of our faith that we forget the greatest commands God gave us: Love Him, Love Others.  We are all called to help people connect with God in a stronger way.  Whether we are surrounded by other believers or reaching out to those who say they don't believe, may we be encouraged to push aside all the itty-bitty details and come to each other with the Love of our Heavenly Father.

Prayer:  Lord, you showed the ultimate act of love by living on earth in human form.  May we follow your example so that we are not precious of the details but extravagant with our love.  Amen.

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.