October 29
‘Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Who made himself nothing.’ Philippians 2: 5b,7a
Bible reading: Acts 4:32-37 (Go to the Bible passage)
Some people say that the life of the first church in Jerusalem was not so perfect at all. For, so they say, because the Christians of Jerusalem soon expected the return of the Lord, many had sold everything (:37). Later – when they were impoverished by this bad management – they had to be taken care of by the heathen-churches (Galatians 2:10).
When we read this passage attentively, we perceive no reproach in this account, although it is written much later (65 AD). Luke - the author of the Acts of the Apostles – then was still delighted with the first church of Jerusalem, even though long before that the apostles already called upon the other churches to remember the poor. This was a law in Israel (Deuteronomy 15:7), but an unknown concept in the rest of the ancient world.
To the church of Jerusalem belonged many Jews who had travelled from far to celebrate Pentecost, and who had stayed in Jerusalem after the wonderful events there. Therefore, they sold their belongings elsewhere and gave the money to the apostles. When we too experience the fellowship of the Lord’s people again, we see - also in our days - this feature of the first church revealed anew. Around the world Christian communities originate from which the full blessing of the gospel flows into the world. And no wonder! When we are no longer stuck to the unbiblical concept of selfish proprietary rights, there will be more and more room in our hearts to start serving other people in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
After all, Jesus too shared with us everything He had owned from all eternity with the Father.
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