12.30.2005

Acts of the Apostles: Growth

Let's hope Luke looked nothing like this guy. What a weird looking man. Is that some sort of ancient hand signal?

Luke wrote his first book about Jesus. Many Jesus-followers and other Christians call it "The Gospel of Luke". You've probably heard Luke's second chapter read a billion times over the past couple weeks ... good :-)

Luke's second book (called Acts) was written about the early Church. Hold up -- don't start thinking about stained glass windows and cheesy music. The Church in Luke's day looked nothing like it looks today. They obviously had some different kind of ministry going on. Check out this trend I've been noticing as I'm going through:
  • 1:15 ... a gathering of about 120 persons were there together
  • 2:41 ... that day there were added about 3,000 souls (whoa ... did he say that DAY?)
  • 4:4 ... many of those who heard the message believed, and the number came to be about 5,000
  • 5:14 ... multidues of men and women, were constantly added to their number
  • 6:7 ... the word of God kept spreading, and the number of disciples continued to increase greatly
  • 9:31 ... so the church enjoyed peace, going in fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, continued to increase
  • 12:24 ... the word of the Lord continued to grow and be multiplied
  • 16:5 ... so the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number DAILY
  • 19:20 ... so the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing
Sign me up for that kind of ministry.

What were they doing differently? I think I'm going to re-read the book a few more times and throw some thoughts up here.

3 comments:

justice is next to godliness said...

i bet you'll find that there wasn't anything different about the early church, nothing spectacular. they just took jesus at his word. he told them that they would do more than he ever did with his power, and they actually believed it for some reason, and did it. he told them to love people, and they did. they hadn't figured out that jesus didn't really mean what he said...they hadn't realized that it would be "impossible" to follow him if he really meant all that.

Anonymous said...

... hand signals? might that have been the key to Luke's success?

Hmmm - DJ

Joel said...

I believe the hand signal(s) are meant to invoke an image/blessing of the Trinity. A lot of religious sculptures in Europe have the same thing - thumb touching index and middle or thumb touching pinkie and ring finger... This is Joel, by the way, saying hello...

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