Untidy Faith

Acts 7-8 | Nathan Wheat & Rebecca Carrell

January 03, 2022 Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach Season 5 Episode 4
Acts 7-8 | Nathan Wheat & Rebecca Carrell
Untidy Faith
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Untidy Faith
Acts 7-8 | Nathan Wheat & Rebecca Carrell
Jan 03, 2022 Season 5 Episode 4
Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach

You’re listening to Happy & Holy, the podcast where Scripture comes to life through a small group discussion. This season we’re walking through the birth of the Church in the book of Acts, and you get to be a fly on the wall to see what new things we learn with and from one another as we engage Scripture in community.


I’m your host, Kate Boyd. I’m a disciple maker, writer, and speaker who is making space in the church for Christians caught in the messy middle between conservative and progressive. We love Jesus, love people, and work with God and each other for a better world. Welcome to the show.


If you’re a Messy Middle Christian like me and you’re looking for a safe space to explore your faith, then the Messy Middle Christian patreon is the way to go. If you’ve listened to the show before, you know we like bunny trails and rabbit holes related to the Bible, Christian history, and how faith and life collide in unique ways. In this patreon community, you can get access to weekly bunny trails - curated content to explore something new - and monthly rabbit holes where I or some friends teach you about the many sides you can take on a Christian doctrine, themes and fun facts about books of the Bible, and deep dives into topics or concepts from the Bible or church life today. Plus you get the safety of a community doing the same thing right beside you. You can join for as little as $5/month and get curated adventures to discover more about what it means to follow Jesus in the messy middle. Learn more at patreon.com/messymiddlechristians


Today, I’m joined by Nathan Wheat and Rebecca Carrell, and we talk about the deep theology of Stephen’s speech, meet Saul for the first time in a not-so-flattering light, and dig into the movement of the gospel to Ethiopia. 


Nathan Wheat lives in Colorado, sometimes alone, and sometimes with his adventurous wife and his son. He grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado with a brief intermission in Belgium. Nathan attended Oklahoma Christian University to pursue a career in politics and left with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering to pursue a life of not working as an engineer. His favorite color is grey and he refuses to throw out socks with holes in them.

Website: https://www.followingthefire.com/

Twitter: @realNathanWheat


Rebecca Carrell is, in order of importance, a joyful Jesus follower, wife to Mike, and mother to Caitlyn and Nick. She co-hosts the morning show on 90.9 KCBI, and the Honest Conversations podcast, where she and Liz Rodriguez look at tough topics through a biblical lens. She is currently working toward her ThM at Dallas Theological Seminary and praying about what she wants to do when she grows up.
https://www.rebeccacarrell.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaAshbrookCarrell

Twitter: @RebeccaACarrell  

Instagram: @RebeccaCarrell   



Kate Boyd - Book | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter

Show Notes Transcript

You’re listening to Happy & Holy, the podcast where Scripture comes to life through a small group discussion. This season we’re walking through the birth of the Church in the book of Acts, and you get to be a fly on the wall to see what new things we learn with and from one another as we engage Scripture in community.


I’m your host, Kate Boyd. I’m a disciple maker, writer, and speaker who is making space in the church for Christians caught in the messy middle between conservative and progressive. We love Jesus, love people, and work with God and each other for a better world. Welcome to the show.


If you’re a Messy Middle Christian like me and you’re looking for a safe space to explore your faith, then the Messy Middle Christian patreon is the way to go. If you’ve listened to the show before, you know we like bunny trails and rabbit holes related to the Bible, Christian history, and how faith and life collide in unique ways. In this patreon community, you can get access to weekly bunny trails - curated content to explore something new - and monthly rabbit holes where I or some friends teach you about the many sides you can take on a Christian doctrine, themes and fun facts about books of the Bible, and deep dives into topics or concepts from the Bible or church life today. Plus you get the safety of a community doing the same thing right beside you. You can join for as little as $5/month and get curated adventures to discover more about what it means to follow Jesus in the messy middle. Learn more at patreon.com/messymiddlechristians


Today, I’m joined by Nathan Wheat and Rebecca Carrell, and we talk about the deep theology of Stephen’s speech, meet Saul for the first time in a not-so-flattering light, and dig into the movement of the gospel to Ethiopia. 


Nathan Wheat lives in Colorado, sometimes alone, and sometimes with his adventurous wife and his son. He grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado with a brief intermission in Belgium. Nathan attended Oklahoma Christian University to pursue a career in politics and left with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering to pursue a life of not working as an engineer. His favorite color is grey and he refuses to throw out socks with holes in them.

Website: https://www.followingthefire.com/

Twitter: @realNathanWheat


Rebecca Carrell is, in order of importance, a joyful Jesus follower, wife to Mike, and mother to Caitlyn and Nick. She co-hosts the morning show on 90.9 KCBI, and the Honest Conversations podcast, where she and Liz Rodriguez look at tough topics through a biblical lens. She is currently working toward her ThM at Dallas Theological Seminary and praying about what she wants to do when she grows up.
https://www.rebeccacarrell.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaAshbrookCarrell

Twitter: @RebeccaACarrell  

Instagram: @RebeccaCarrell   



Kate Boyd - Book | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter

Kate Boyd:

You're listening to happy and holy the podcast where scripture comes to life through a small group discussion. This season, we're walking through the birth of the church and the book of Acts, and you get to be a fly on the wall to see what new things we learn with and from one another as we engage scripture and community. I'm your host, Kate Boyd. I'm a disciple maker, writer and speaker who is making space in the church for Christians caught in the messy middle, between conservative and progressive. We love Jesus, love people, and work with God and each other for a better world. Welcome to the show. If you're a messy middle Christian like me, and you're looking for a safe space to explore your faith, then the messy middle Christian Patreon is the place for you. If you listened to the show before, you know we like bunny trails and rabbit holes related to the Bible's Christian history, and how faith and life collide in unique ways. In this Patreon community, you can get access to weekly bunny trails, which are curated content to explore something new, and monthly rabbit holes where I or some friends teach you about the many sides you can take on a Christian doctrine, themes and fun facts about books in the Bible and deep dives into topics or concepts in the Bible or church life today. Plus, you get the safety of community doing the same thing right beside you. And you can join for as little as $5 a month and get curated adventures to discover more about what it means to follow Jesus in the messy middle. You can learn more at patreon.com/messy Middle Christian. Today on the show, I am joined by Nathan wheat and Rebecca Carroll. And we are talking through Acts seven and eight after our very long hiatus. And so I just want to say thank you for bearing with me, as I dealt with a lot of personal things over the last four to six weeks, and appreciate you all giving me and the podcast here some space to figure all that out and get back on track. I'm really excited to be back in the new year. To continue our walk through the book of Acts. Today we're tackling chapter seven, and eight. And we really get into the deep theology of Steven speech, we meet Saul for the first time in a not so flattering light. And we dig into the movement of the gospel to Ethiopia. And honestly, these are maybe two of my favorite chapters from the whole book. And so I'm really excited to bring this conversation to you. So I won't keep you from it any longer. Let's go. Hello, and welcome everyone, as we are talking today through Acts seven, and eight, which are some really good chapters, I feel like the last season we did mark and everything sort of went really fast. And here we've got a little bit more space and pacing. So I'm excited to sort of like dig into some of the little things. But before we do that, I guess it's important that you know who it is I'm talking to. Um, so we will start with Nathan, why don't you introduce yourself to us?

Nathan Wheat:

Hello, I'm Nathan. I very much appreciate the intro to this show, because I very much fall squarely and quite messily, in that awkward space between progressive and conservative and, you know, have so many more questions than answers right now. I was born and raised in the church with really awesome, genuine, faithful parents. But I did a lot of my learning the hard way. And I continued to be a really slow learner. And kind of recently, I realized that for years and years and years, my relationship with God was less like a disciple or a follower and a lot more like a Facebook stalker. And if you have ever Googled somebody before a first date, not saying that I have, but I have done it a lot. You know, it's really awkward. When you know too much about someone and you've never met them. You don't have a relationship, like I know a lot of facts about you. It's unnatural, it's awkward. And so

Kate Boyd:

I love how you put that. Yeah, I think we can all sort of relate to that.

Unknown:

So like trying to like I'm trying to undo that imbalance in my life now and like journey with people who have that, who have that relationship figured out and who are so that I can not just know things about God but that I can actually have a relationship with Jesus. So I started a podcast with a friend of mine and we kind of talk about my journey to like, dissect that and uncover that and kind of slough some legalistic baggage that came as a result of not having a relationship but knowing too many facts. So that's kind of My faith background. And I live in Colorado. And I have a almost seven year old son and an almost one year old marriage. So learning all kinds of new things in this pandemic, year 2.0 of this year of the pandemic, so,

Kate Boyd:

oh, yeah. So you would have gotten married in the pandemic, which is like in the

Unknown:

middle? Yeah. Wow. And I tell people that it was between the murder Hornets and the fires. That's right.

Kate Boyd:

Thank you, that helps us actually pinpoint it a little more. Well, I'm glad you're here. Nathan. Rebecca, why don't you tell us a little about yourself?

Rebecca Carrell:

Yeah, so my name is Rebecca Carroll. I am in the Dallas Fort Worth area and a little suburb north of Dallas called Flower Mound. And I grew up in the Episcopal Church. So a high church setting with the liturgy with the Creed's was first introduced to the world of evangelicalism when I moved to Texas in 1998. And so a lot of the things that are hotly debated within evangelicalism and in evangelical circles just were not even on my radar. So my learning curve has been less about God and more about what different sects of Christianity believe about God. I started school, started school, I started Seminary in 2015. And I'm picking my way toward my degree, just a class at a time. So six years in halfway there. And I've been in radio in the Dallas Fort Worth area also since 1998. So I'm married, to kiddos to teenagers. They are 14 months apart. And if you think back to back diapers is tough. You should try back to back puberty. No, that is just oh, all the challenges, all the challenges, but it's okay. You know, God is sovereign. And Nathan, I used to live in Colorado. Where do you live?

Nathan Wheat:

Cool. I'm in Fort Collins. Where did you live?

Rebecca Carrell:

I lived in Highlands Ranch. And yes.

Nathan Wheat:

Highlands Ranch. Yeah. Ah,

Rebecca Carrell:

I don't know if they do. I haven't really noticed it. I was just back there. And so when I left Highlands Ranch in 1993 it is not 2021 Highlands Ranch to almost two different worlds. So we were just back for a class reunion. I won't tell you which one. But we saw it and just oh, boy do I miss the mountains. But I love Texas to Texas has been good to my family. So yeah, that's me in a nutshell.

Kate Boyd:

Nice. Well, I am really excited to so x is actually one of my favorite books of the Bible, and has been for a while. And so it may have, you know, colored my biases, for choosing it for this season of the podcast. And, and so I am excited to dive in. And so why don't we have a recap, Nathan, if you wouldn't mind giving us a recap of chapter seven, which is where we're starting our discussion today. Yeah, go for it.

Nathan Wheat:

All right. Okay, so x chapter seven opens, and we are in Jerusalem. Sitting before the council, the Sanhedrin with an accusation by the high priest are these things so? And a man who's been performing wonders and signs is being accused. And if this sounds familiar, it's because it's happened before. But this time the man is Stephen are Stephen do, by the way, which I'm gonna say it. Do you say Stephen or Stephen?

Kate Boyd:

I say, Stephen.

Unknown:

I've always heard Stephen.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, I guess I could. I could look it up and pronounce it weird for you. But I don't think I think we'll just do Stephen cuz I don't I've never heard anyone call it stuff in.

Nathan Wheat:

Yeah, I think I've got a Yeah. All right. I'll resume then. So the man is Stephen, who we meet in chapter six. And there's this unfair kind of vindictive accusation that's been brought against him. And the accusation is that he is speaking blasphemy against this holy place, which is Jerusalem and the temple. And that he's teaching against the customs of Moses. You know, they're saying you're trying to change our customs, you want to destroy our spiritual, you know, spiritual heritage in our home. The majority of Chapter Seven is Stephens defense in front of the council. So it's kind of like a sermon almost. He retells the story of God People, he starts with Abraham and talks about this unfill fulfilled promise of an inheritance. And it's interesting because this inheritance is both ground and land which they're talking about this holy place, and people which is like the customs and the the people who follow following Moses his steps. So then Stephen reminds these religious scholars in front of them that you know, all these people in Scripture, the brothers who rejected Joseph, these are the patriarchs, right? The very same ones, and that the patriarchs, their sons are the ones who reject Moses, instead of realizing he was sent by God to rescue them. Stephen reminds the council that the customs of the people of Moses aren't always good. They're not completely unblemished. Then Steven addresses the concern about this holy place. He says, Yes, David built this holy city. And yes, Solomon built this holy temple. But we also know from Scripture that the dwelling of God is not the kind built by human hands. The dwelling of God is the throne or the house or the tabernacle that God builds. It's not about the physical location or bricks. It's about the presence and the design of God. And throughout his defense, Stephens words become more and more directed toward the council and more and more blatant. And he finishes with his own counter accusation against them. He says, You are stubborn, you have uncircumcised hearts and ears. You're all always resisting the Holy Spirit, just like your people have always done. Your people killed and resisted all of God's prophets, who predicted the Messiah. And now you have betrayed him and murdered him as well. You are the ones who claimed to hold the law in the highest esteem, and you are the ones who don't keep it. Well, this does not go over very well. And as adrenaline starts coursing through the veins of his accusers, Stephen looks up to the sky and has a vision and not being one to read a room. He pushes these these people over the edge, by letting them know he has just seen the heavens opened, and the son of man seated at the right hand of God. Well, that does it. The council start screaming they Dr. Steven out to the edge of the city where they stone him to death, leaving their cloaks at the feet of a brand new character, a young man named Saul. And that's chapter seven.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, thanks so much for that recap. So I was thinking back to like, when I, we sort of covered this story when I was growing up, and it was sort of like, yeah, Stephen, the first martyr, and that was sort of it. And they're like, Oh, his speeches about history. And, you know, he's just sort of retelling it. And I was like, Well, I don't understand why he would do that. But they never really told me. And so it was really fun to sort of like go really deep this time around and uncover some of like, some of the points that you were pointing out Nathan, like that he was making, as he was going on, and how it actually functions in the book of Acts, which I found to be really fascinating as we went. And so I'm looking forward to talking about this. Maybe we'll start with, like Abraham and Joseph part before we get to Moses. Because Moses has a really big chunk of the story. And so yeah, what are some things? Maybe Rebecca that stood out to you in this, that sort of first part of Stephens whole history lesson?

Rebecca Carrell:

Uh, first of all, it's such a good rich recap of the entire Old Testament up until Solomon. And what I see in this is somewhat of a parallel to Matthew's genealogy. You know, Matthew, being a Jew did not go all the way back to Adam. We see that in Luke's gospel, but we don't see that. In Matthew's gospel, we see him starting with Abraham, because to the Jews, they didn't, you know, their lineage did not start with Adam. It started with Abraham. And so that was just, you know, this is kind of like an amplified version of the first three quarters of Matthew's genealogy. So I thought that was kind of I thought that was kind of a neat little tidbit. And just like you said, he is he is including things and not including things on purpose because this entire discourse here is building up to this great big accusation of you killed the promised One and so he goes through the whole scene, like the whole line of promise until he lands on the Messiah and is like, and you killed them and you killed him.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, it's really interesting how he sort of, I think you're right, I love how it's sort of this indication of, because I think part of the point that he's making in this speech is, you know, that it's about God's people and not the places that we are anymore, right. And so the idea that it starts, it's initiated, right by God through Abraham. And that's like, where it starts. And that's where the people of God start. And he's sort of tracing that line. And so to see that, and then even, I found, I was, as I was thinking, like, because we're going to talk about chapter eight, and that sort of like, where we start to see a hinge outside of the Israel lands, even thinking about Joseph and how he was in Egypt and sort of that maybe connection to Africa and to the diaspora and the way that Christianity is about to spread. And so you sort of see it even, even though he's like squarely here in Judea, and he's like, defending himself, there still a whole lot that he is working with, and how its functioning here, as he built up to that story, and even talking about the land in which they are currently dwelling. Especially in that first sort of section is interesting.

Rebecca Carrell:

And did you notice too, because I thought this was interesting, like, he's talking about the heroes of their faith, like, these are the Gold Star boys, right? But he's, he's pulling out their flaws. Like he's not painting this big, glowing picture. He's presenting, they're superheroes, you know, they're super Jews as very, very human. You know, talking about the patriarchs jealous of Joseph. And so I really love that he's just like the Bible does. Steven is not glossing over. He's almost like, highlighting the fact that these people whom you hung, you know, your hat on. They're human, because they're pointing to the better one to come. So I just I, lots of little nuances, I think, in this story that are fun to uncover.

Kate Boyd:

Mm hmm. What about you, Nathan?

Nathan Wheat:

Man, the, the more this, you know, sermon or defense gets going. The more I started to see this, the larger pattern, it's not just history, I'd kind of learned the same thing like, because this is kind of a transitional time and X, things are about to get a lot different. And it was the good old days in x one through, I don't know, five or six. And things were about to change. And so I had always read this story, as you know, and then an unfortunate thing happened. And now we move on to the next section. But, you know, so Stephens, I hate when people explain things to me that I just already know. So I started wondering, like, if you're in the council, the same, it's like being at the Supreme Court, and then saying, like, have you read the Constitution? Let me just, you know, say it back to you, you know, because he's telling them the story that they know. And so what I noticed were when he changed when he starts to put in a little dig here or there, and dig number one is really small. But it's that, you know, verse nine, and then the patriarchs became jealous of Joseph. Yes, you know, that's when he's like, hey, you know, he starts to insert just a little hint. And then he, you know, he continues on, like, normal, but he plants that little seed for, you know, we have this great history, this tradition that we're proud of. Right, and, and you're accusing me here of, of trying to subvert this or whatever. But let's, let's look at the full picture of who we are as, as a as a people. So that's going to come out more, I think in the next verses. So I really, you know, that accusation of this holy place, and this law, I did tie it directly in Abraham to that inheritance. So the inheritance is a is a place and people and the, you know, the understanding until this point had been that that inheritance is literally the promised land where they are all sitting right now. And that the people are the, you know, literal descendants of Abraham. But Stephen hat knows that, that promised land isn't just Jerusalem. And that that promised culture or custom is bigger than just just that. So he's he started he plants the seed, right?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Yeah. And so some of the stuff I was As reading was talking about how some of the people on this council probably didn't even believe that, you know, God was really present even outside of the temple. Right. So that's like the only holy land the only holy space. And as they're sort of accusing him of, essentially blasphemy like that he's gone against the law. You know, he's starting at the very beginning of their people in order to say, No, I'm as Orthodox as they come. We just have, there's a new era of the story that we're unfolding, and I'm gonna lay that out for you. And so yeah, it was in, one of the commentaries I was reading to was like, really, the main question was, you know, who are you to say this? And are you with us? Right? It's sort of like the power brokers going, Are you going to disrupt what we're working toward? Or are you on our team? Right? Are you gonna sit down and be quiet and get back on track with us? And he's like, No, not exactly.

Rebecca Carrell:

But he tagged Jesus. Yeah. Versus like, maybe? And

Kate Boyd:

then I know. Yeah. And then like you said, there's the little digs. But then I think when we get to the Moses section, we start to see a little bit more he's, he's a little more pointed with some of it, I think. So what in the Moses? Section? And maybe, yeah, maybe we'll just do that. And we'll leave the temple and the golden calf to next. So sort of the Moses life section? What are some of the things that you really notice? Or were new to you, or that you sort of dug into and found was interesting?

Rebecca Carrell:

I'll tell you. So if you, if you look at the Bible as a whole, right, you have the Old Testament, you have the New Testament, and to the Moses was to the Jews, who Jesus is to us, just as the exodus was to the Jews, as the cross is to us. So Moses, like Moses would have been like, I'm trying to think of a Marvel equivalent, and I can't, I mean, you know, like, Marvel Comics equivalent, he was there. He was their guy, he was their superhero. And Steven knows that and you start to see, and I think you see it a little bit more in the Greek construction. But you start to see him. I mean, I so wish we could hear Stephens tone, because as he's talking about Moses, and you particularly see this starting in verse 35, it's this Moses, whom they rejected this man, I mean, it's a man led them out. This Moses, this is the Moses, he is making a deliberate case with that emphatic construction in the Greek of, hey, this was your guy, this was your superhero, and this was not the Messiah. And so he's not making a case against Moses, he's making a case for the humanity of Moses, and that this is a man, this is a man and you don't need a man, you need a Messiah. And so that, to me, was kind of was just one of those places where I wish I could have heard Stephens tone, and then seeing the look on the council's face when he started, you know, doing that this Moses this Moses.

Nathan Wheat:

Wow, that's, that's not something I picked up on. But, but when you look back, and like he says, like, you know, our superhero story of Moses is this, but then he's like, Hey, remember that time when Moses shook with fear, and didn't dare look closely, you know, that's your Moses, you know? Yes. Totally. And the you know, that he's not getting to it yet. But the there's a new superhero. That approach is God with confidence. Right. So he definitely, that's really interesting.

Rebecca Carrell:

Yeah, I loved that. I and I will tell you, I only just noticed that this morning so that that's not something you know, that I've been, like, I'm still excited about that. Because this is the first time that that's really popped out to me. And it says this Moses whom they rejected, you know, I mean, it's he's really building a case for this isn't the Messiah, this isn't the Messiah, this isn't the Messiah. So I thought, yeah,

Kate Boyd:

I mean, especially as he goes in later, and he's talking about and he's really drawing the parallels right between Jesus and Moses heavily. And so this rejection piece is part of it. And just like all the other prophets that they rejected that they talked About and here. And so yeah, it's so interesting. Because I never think of, you know, if I'm standing in front of a court trying to defend myself, I'm not usually like, accusing the judge and jury while I'm doing it, right. This feels like a very weird strategy to me. But apparently, yeah, like, apparently that was a normal way to do it. But it's like, it's very interesting the way that he's like, let me recount and I'm flipping it on you at the same time. So there's like, so many levels of things happening. Yeah, it's so it's very fascinating to me.

Nathan Wheat:

Yeah. And yeah, the digs get more explicit, and more constant. So you know, you rejected Moses, God sent Moses to rescue you and you, that's us, that's Israel, we rejected Moses. Like, you know, are you getting the pattern yet? That this is, this is part of our story.

Rebecca Carrell:

Right. And Jesus, you know, I mean, said explicitly in Luke's gospel, I think it was that Moses and the prophets point to me, you go to the scriptures for salvation, you look to Moses and the prophets, and they're like, yet Jesus is that way, you know? And so, yeah, you can, you can really feel kind of going with the courtroom analogy, you can really kind of feel the gasp, you know, in the room, as he builds this case against the judge and the attorneys who are building a case against him. That's, that's a good insight, Kate.

Kate Boyd:

And I think so there were two other things that some of the notes in some of the Bibles I was looking at today, drew out as well. And that was sort of the idea of like, the rescuing or like, you know, get actually they said, it's actually that he gave you salvation is essentially what the Greek says, and, and that Luke often uses the same word, which in Greek is soso, right, which means to save, but he uses it often for healing and for like, this sort of spiritual thing. And so it's usually a bit of wordplay that they can do, because I'm also later on today, I'm also talking through Acts three and four, where Peter and John heal the, the lame beggar outside the temple. And they said that he did sort of the same thing. Use that so so for when they're defending themselves for having, having healed him. And so it's really interesting to see that sort of interplay, how that, and then even how, because he also talks about how the confirmation of Moses, his choosing, essentially was kind of that he could do signs and wonders. So you've got like, this sort of spiritual power that's happening in Moses that confirms him. And it's that he, you know, did these acts, but also lead them out, and in the same way that Jesus sort of did those things, too. And then, you know, as we'll see that the apostles and other other disciples of Jesus do as the gospel spreads out,

Rebecca Carrell:

you know, the whole life of Moses to both of you I know, aren't familiar with typology, which is just foreshadowing, you know, you see patterns in the Old Testament that point to what Jesus will fulfill in the New Testament. And when you think about Moses, really, his whole life was a picture of, I think, I would argue, is a picture of Jesus and what He will do even to the point where, what a perfect intercessor Moses was, because if you think about, you know, he was born a Jew, and I believe both of his parents were of the line of Levi, right? So he was a Jew of Jews. And then, you know, three months of age, he becomes Pharaoh's grandson. Right, because the daughter, the princess adopts him. And in Hebrew, of course, we don't have words for son, grandson and great grandson, things like that. It's just son of son of son of and so we have Moses, Son of the Most High, right. And we read of him coming down, because he wants to see his people and he hears their cries and he intervenes, but the time isn't right. That is such a beautiful picture. Because Jesus, you know, that points to Jesus, Son of the Most High, fully human, just like Moses was fully Jewish, or I should say Hebrew, but he was also fully Egyptian being raised in Pharaoh's house. So he stands as the perfect mediator to stand between Pharaoh and the Hebrews just like Jesus comes down, hears the cries of his people sees them, and is the perfect mediator being fully God and fully man to stand between us. And you know, God the Father and and so that's one of the things that I think you see play out in this section of acts that, to me is just like, How could anyone not think that the Bible is inspired? I mean, it's just, it's just such strong evidence when I, when I read it, to see the continuity through it and how their guy their superhero there Moses, as perfect as he was, and as strong of a deliverer as he was still failed, still fell, still didn't get to enter the land still didn't get the inheritance, because, you know, we needed a better mediator and Stephens whole argument, I think when you start with Moses is pointing in that direction.

Nathan Wheat:

I did a double take when I got to verse 38, because I wasn't sure if Stephen was talking about Moses or Jesus. Because I think the answer is yes, you know, so, right. It's like, God will raise you a prophet like me. That's the one before and then he says, you know, the one who was in the wilderness with an angel, oh, you know, the one that went on a mountain and talk to God and talk to our fathers at length and brought a living word to you. And I had to read it a couple of times. And then I was like, oh, man, he is so clever. Because he is. He's talking about Moses. And I thought that was the first hint. But you know, you can read this. This defense. Yeah. And just like it's Jesus. Oh, from Abraham.

Rebecca Carrell:

Oh, that's so good. Yeah. So I didn't notice that. That is so good. Yeah, you're right, who has an inheritance, but never owned land? Who has descendants but had no son? Or, you know, it's just like, everywhere, everywhere, just dripping with Jesus. So much so that, you know, you like, how can you miss it is almost the question like, how, how can you miss it?

Kate Boyd:

That's so good. And it's also a real fun exercise. This is sort of an aside, but read Genesis and Exodus and then go read the book of John, right, you'll see a lot of those parallels, because I think you're this was a like Moses, like you said, it was a big deal, and that he was a prophet like Moses, to be raised up. So they're quoting some of Deuteronomy here to help fill in those gaps. And while that sort of takes a leap for us to like, look back in that, like, that would have been very apparent what he was doing. And it would have been pretty offensive, it would have been very offensive to the people. He was saying it to you. And so yeah, it's really fascinating. And really rich. Like, I'm sad that we always sort of skipped over this in whenever I was learning because there's so much good stuff here. And then we sort of pivot into the golden calf era and the temple era, which was interesting. So I was reading and they actually said, normally, Israel doesn't like to talk about the golden calf thing so much that Josephus, Josephus leaves it out of his history. Does he really know that? Okay,

Nathan Wheat:

I mean, I do not like to talk about my golden half years, you know?

Unknown:

Oh, I didn't know that. That's great. That's great. Sure, like, wow,

Kate Boyd:

so even just bringing it up is kind of his. It's one of those little jabs, right that like, you don't necessarily catch because we're like, oh, it's just a thing. Of course, it's part of the history. But I think even bringing up to these people, it's kind of like a thing. And then you know, the way that he's connecting stuff made by human hands. I thought that was a really interesting, parallel in the wording. Because I don't necessarily think of, say, the temple as made by human hands. But the way he was tracing it back to me, one of so one of the Bibles in the notes that I was reading, he was like, the tabernacle was God's plan, right? It was the tent, and he would be in the Ark of the Covenant. And man's idea was to have a temple for God, just like all the other people had temple. Yes. And I was like, I've never thought of it like that, because you never hear about the temple talked about that way. Because it was the place right for the most high as they're saying, which was also it was they referred to, right. Yeah, yep. And so sassing to me that I never, I just sort of was like, Oh, of course, now they have a permanent place because they're in a permanent place. But that maybe the tabernacle was supposed to be the plan for the whole time.

Rebecca Carrell:

Because God came to us, like God is with us. It's not that we have to go and seek Him He is God with us and the tabernacle traveled with them in the wilderness. And then God told them where to stop and rebuild it, and then when to take it up and keep going. And the temple puts it in one place, and it confines God and God can't be confined.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. And I mean, even to the point like when, again, to go back to John, you know, it says the Word became flesh and dwelt with us, he tabernacled with us. So it's interesting to think in that sort of since two, that if the tabernacle was the plan, how much more impactful it is that they use the word for tabernacle about Jesus coming to earth? Oh, yeah. Anyway, kind of blew my mind. So I just had never thought about, yeah, I'd never thought about the temple not being the thing that like that it was supposed to be.

Rebecca Carrell:

It's crazy. It is. It's crazy when you start digging down into that, and it's like, Oh, my goodness, because what was the big thing? I mean, if you read just go, Okay, let's just go first five books of the Bible. Let's just go Genesis. Let's just go Genesis one. And think about, okay, this is Moses telling this was to a specific group of people, this was to the Israelites coming out of the Exodus, right? And so he's taking them out of pagan worship. And the Egyptian pantheon was over 1500 named gods that we know of, but you know, probably many, many, many more than that. And so the difference was, they had to go to their gods, they had to seek their gods, they had to appease their gods. And Moses, in the telling of Genesis one and two is like, no, no, this is God with us. This is the God who comes to us. This is the God who bends toward us, who ultimately because we're on this side of the cross, who ultimately indwells us he was always God with us, not God over there.

Nathan Wheat:

And the, you know, we, we know, like, the, the Sabbath is made for man, that man for the Sabbath. And I think there's a similar idea where, you know, we have elevated Israel, the council, you know, we have our history, and we, we, we cover over some of the blemishes, and we're proud of who we are. And I think it's easy to think that we built the temple for God. You know, but, but the tabernacle is not for God. The Tabernacle is God is for us. It's God saying, I'm going to come to you. And it's, you know, it's, I think, when we it's so easy for me to be like, You're You're welcome, God for how amazing I am.

Kate Boyd:

Look at all I'm doing for you. God, look at it. I'm working so hard.

Rebecca Carrell:

So true. So true. So true. Who among us is not guilty of that? Yeah.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. I mean, and then. And then I think even the illusion back to Moses in Exodus, and the law, right continues when he's like, You stiff necked people, which is very much sort of, which is a big callback, I feel like, and he's, you know, you accuse me of not keeping the law or being part of the law or knowing it or, or that I'm not speaking the law, right, but you're the ones that aren't obeying it. And that was just really interesting. I mean, he, he made them pretty angry, you know?

Rebecca Carrell:

Oh, 351 through 53. That's where I mean, he's locked and loaded. And then he just pulls the trigger. He's like, you know, not only are they stiff neck, they're uncircumcised. Like, you know, I mean, you can just you can I can just the it's like, they probably all fell backwards, right? When he called them that and, you know, which of the prophets did your father's not persecute This is where he just hits them square in the center of their Jewishness and, and that's the final blow, I think.

Nathan Wheat:

And their accusation to him is yours. You're speaking against our customs. Like, you're, you're saying you should stop doing what our fathers did. And he's like, Yeah, you do exactly what your fathers did. Right. It's like, hey, it's, it's such a you know, it's so direct, like, you know, what, you know, maybe we shouldn't be doing what our fathers you're doing. Exactly. You're following their custom. Exactly. It's not a good custom, though. No, yeah. You know?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, that it's not about these rituals, right, that there was something else that was always going on. And you all have continued to miss it. And so I'm laying it out for you. Um, and I even just, yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of, you know, Church or worship or whatever, not being tied to specific places, and it being, you know, a part of us. And so it's really, and we even are the are what comprise it. And so it's so I, so as you sort of tracing this, and he's like, you know, all of these places were holy before we had a temple and all of these places are where God showed up. And all of these people were who God used and you rejected them. And you've made these things with human hands to worship. And that's not what it what it's about anymore. And so even just like, as I think about where we're about to go, and how he's like, really set up that stage to be, you know, it's about the people and not the place, and not the traditions. It's about how we now operate as the people of God. And it was always moving this direction. You just didn't see it, and just how steeped they were in it. Yeah, I got really excited reading. And I was like, Oh, I can see so many things to do with this. Because there's so much. Yeah, there's so much here.

Rebecca Carrell:

Yeah. And then what does God do next? I mean, I know we're getting to this, we're not there yet. But he scatters them sending them away from their place. Yeah.

Nathan Wheat:

It's a reminder for me is like he's telling them, this was right in front of your eyes, you know what the pattern is? It's, it's in your Bible, you've been reading, the prophet comes, you don't listen to him. The prophet comes, you don't listen to him. And that is not just an accusation against ancient Israel, or the or the council, that is exactly what I do. Because I know the pattern of like, what I want to turn religion into, or what I want to do with the Bible. And it's gonna, like I see it play out in Scripture, and I still miss when I'm doing it myself. And or the church misses when we, when we have accidentally gone into that, you know, our pride in our ancestry spiritually, instead of what is the purpose behind this? You know, what, you know, are we here for God? Or is God here for us? You know? Yeah, it's, it's not just, you know, it's not just the council, you know, it's also

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. And it, it makes them angry enough that they kill him basically, immediately. You know, if we rewind a few chapters, they're like, we'll just let it die out. It'll be fine. Just ignore it will tell them not to do it. And now they're like, No, we're just, we're murdering people now. And so, I mean, they had a very strong reaction to Stephen. And, you know, he had his vision. And I also so in this last little bit, where they're actually stoning him again. Now, Steven is kind of like Jesus, right? You know? Yeah. He's asking forgiveness. He's seeing the heavens open up and the Son of Man at the right hand, he's, you know, interesting, his spirit to God. Like now we've sort of shifted that typology of Jesus on to Stephen,

Rebecca Carrell:

which is an echo now it goes from a foreshadow to an echo, that is the coolest thing. Yeah.

Nathan Wheat:

And it's, you know, like, it's not a when bad things happen to good people, which is kind of how I tend to read it. It's like, oh, this is the the Christ design. This is, oh, because I want so I want to be in chapter six. There's all these compliments about Steven. It's like, he's, he's got a great reputation. He's wisdom. He's has wisdom. He's full of grace and power in the spirit. He's performing signs. And I want to be that so bad, I want to be full of the Spirit. I want to be I want to have a good reputation and do powerful things for the kingdom. But I think the second part of the Christ plan is the cross. And I, when that kind of stuff happens in my life, I'm always like, what's going on? Why is this happening? But it's the Christ. It's, it's

Kate Boyd:

the design. Yeah. The heart of it.

Rebecca Carrell:

You know, I think we tend to look at persecution. And we think, what am I doing wrong or oppression? Let's, you know, we can't really speak of persecution in America, but we can speak of oppression. And we tend to think, Oh, what am I doing wrong? This is happening. This is happening. It's like, well, what if you're just doing it? Right. And this is the plan. You know, I mean, God has always used persecution to grow the church. That's that is not new. That is very, very old. So yeah, that's, that's good, Nathan. That's a good reframing point.

Kate Boyd:

And, yeah, so we, we meet some of the people while we meet stall for the first time, and people are laying their cloaks at his feet. Um, I feel like somebody somebody had something or a question about cloaks.

Nathan Wheat:

Yeah, so I, I've always worked wondered like, the cloaks come up again later? And I'm always like, Why do you keep talking about what they're wearing? And the, you know, I looked into some of that. And the first two answers weren't quite satisfying to me. The first one was like, you know, stonings a hard job, you gotta, you gotta take off your big outer coat

Kate Boyd:

very taxing. You don't want to get sweaty.

Nathan Wheat:

You're going to the gym, you put on your gym clothes, right? I was like, you don't have to put it in the Bible, though, you know, if it's obvious that, you know, because they could have said they took off their cloaks, and then they picked up a rock, and then they walked out, you know, they didn't describe everything. But they describe these cloaks. And you look, you know, that the next kind of most common thing called out I mean, this is this is very true, it's true, you have to take off your big cloak to do this. And it's also this great literary wait to introduce Paul, Saul. And I can totally see a great movie director, where there's this, this scene, it's this climactic thing that happens, you know, and you pan away from the stoning. And you see, Paul, and so it's, you know, he's directly complicit just by the symbol,

Kate Boyd:

he had something to do with it. Right, right.

Nathan Wheat:

It's sort of totally this great literary way to say like, Hey, and Paul was there, in, and he was part of this, but I still was, like, you know, but I still wasn't quite satisfied with that. And I don't know the answer to exactly what, what Luke's trying to say here. But one thing that was really interesting, was this idea of who is actually guilty here. Because there are two accusations. Right? And, you know, we, it's clear to us through the sermon like it's, it's the accused, it's the people stoning Stephen who are actually guilty. And so you can, you can see, like, they're taking off their garments, so that they don't have this messy, bloody, you know, stuff on the outside of their priestly royal garments, whatever they were. They're, you know, they're, they're blind to their own, but completely obvious and blatant guilt. And then even a apparently a town mood ik tradition, which is that when you stone somebody, you, the witnesses do it. And you you disrobe the guilty person. And so just another like, we already see it in the words who is actually in the right here. But just another visual representation of there are people throwing stones, and there's somebody who's, you know, been sentenced. But we all know who, who's actually guilty in this scenario.

Unknown:

That's good. That's really good.

Kate Boyd:

Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? Well, when I was doing that, and as I continue to do that, in my life, the greatest tool for me in that journey was the Bible itself. You've probably noticed here on the show that we love the Bible, and we take it seriously. But we don't always take it literally. And that means that meaning can get a little complicated. You don't have to let that overwhelm you. I put together the big picture, Bible toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story. And help you learn some new questions to ask to get it meaning without getting overwhelmed. And I put together a special Bible reading plan to help you see new connections between the Old and New Testament. If you're ready to get back to the basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start. And the big picture Bible toolkit can help you as you go. You can grab yours today for free at Kate boyd.co/bible. Okay, chapter eight. Rebecca, you want to recap chapter eight for us? Yes.

Rebecca Carrell:

So I think chapter eight is kind of fun. You know, the, the chapter and verse divisions came later in the 1500s. And so every now in Scripture, you're going to stumble over something where it's like, this is really weird. It feels like this is continuing the story. But you know, my Bible tells me it's a new section. And I think we see that in chapter eight, one through three. I think if we were to divide the Bible today, we would stick eight, one through three and keep that as part of chapter seven. So seven sort of ends abruptly and eight. It's like, I don't feel like there's supposed to be a new section there. But you've got that little part where saw approves of his execution and then what happens is that on that day, says a great persecution against the church arose. And so what happens is that the believers, everyone except for the apostles, scatters, they run, and because they scatter, they begin to preach the word wherever they go. And I love that because I think a whole lot of times, at least in my life, when God wants me to do something new, when God has a new direction for me to go, he tends to make where I am really uncomfortable. And I think we can see a biblical principle there. And so then we're introduced to Philip and Philip is proclaiming Christ, he goes down to Sumeria. And he is witnessing about Jesus, and he's casting out demons. And then chapter, verses nine through 25, we meet this curious guy named Simon. So Simon has some kind of power. I mean, he is in the Scriptures call him a magician. So he's got access to some kind of power he's doing to one degree or another signs and wonders. But then Phillip and his guys come in town, and he sees them and there's something authentic about what they're doing. And Philip, I'm sorry, Simon is very intrigued. People are listening to fill up. They're believing him and Simon's kind of like I want in on that it says, Even Simon himself believed and then he was baptized. But then we go a little further along in the story, and Simon wants to pay the apostles, he wants to pay Philip in so that he too, can give people the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. And so to what degree did he believe we're not really sure, but he at least misunderstood the workings of the Holy Spirit because he thought this was something he could you know, like a pay to play kind of thing. And so, Peter rebukes him, he repents. And then we move on to a very bizarre story where the Lord literally picks Philip up, drops him off in a different place. And he has an encounter with a UNIQ who is works in very close relations to the queen of Egypt. And then is that right queen of Egypt, Ethiopia, Ethiopia, thank you very much. Okay, queen of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian just so happens to be reading a chunk of scripture out of the book of Isaiah, and he doesn't understand it and Phillips like I do. And so he starts telling him how the scriptures that he's reading actually point to Jesus, he makes all the parallels, the unit is baptized. And then Philip is Philip goes on and preaches elsewhere. So chapter eight is much shorter than chapter seven. But it's got, I think, three, three good sections, where we read of the scattering of this of the church, the story about Simon and then this narrative of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, there's definitely a lot that's happening. And even if we're so this is sort of also, I feel like these chapters because as we go into nine, we then saw, we meet Saul and his convergence. So we're really like in this hinge point. And I think it's really interesting. If you go back to like x one, right, everyone talks about x one eight, you know, that will start here, and, you know, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, and we kind of in these chapters have been seeing that happen. So like, now we're gonna see some area and Ethiopia, which to them would have been the ends of the earth. And so we're seeing that start. And then with Saul, it goes even further,

Rebecca Carrell:

right? Yeah, but very exciting. Saul starts off

Kate Boyd:

as a really bad guy. You know, it's, it's, it's very dramatic, and a severe persecution and ravaging, which is like such an interesting word. I know Rebecca, you had looked up some stuff related to that.

Rebecca Carrell:

I did. Yeah, there and there is a note to that just as we were going through this, I just I noticed this it says Paul approved of his execution. And so what that does, it was saw this young lad and they were like, here, you can hold the coats or this approve that word that can also mean gives consent to so I mean, I think that Paul had more blood on his hands than than we even tend to think. And and I would have to explore that further. But that word approved. That carries some authoritarian weight with it. But yes, then it says Saul was ravaging the church. And the picture this word paints for us, is a dog, like go into town on a bone or not, not even a bone. But like if you think of wild beasts, you know, like NatGeo right near the scenes where it's the lions chasing the gazelle, and then you have to look away. That's what this word paints it's violent. It's vehement it's active, this is a really forceful word where Paul's not just having an emotional response. He's having a visceral response. And one of the things like, if you look at the emotion he has, I've got two teenagers, right? They tend to crow the loudest over something of which they too are guilty. So one of my kids got so mad because the other kid had hid some food in their room, you know, some candy or something? Well, and then we turn around, and we find that this kid had also done the same thing, you know, so we're so quick to point out the sins of that which we are also guilty, right? And so what I wonder is because this is such a strong reaction, was Paul furious, or Saul, same person interchangeable? Was he was he so angry with the church? Or was he feeling a measure of guilt? Because he deep down suspected that, oh, my goodness, what if we got this wrong? And it's almost like he has to prove it to himself? Because look back. Okay. So Jesus was the problem, right? Well, they crucified him. But that wasn't enough. Okay? Now, Stephens the problem, so they stone him. But that's not enough for Paul, he has to keep going and keep going and keep going. And I would argue, based on the way we know, the Holy Spirit works, that the Holy Spirit had been agitating Paul for a while, you know what I mean? And the reason he's having such a strong visceral response, is because he doesn't want to be wrong. He doesn't he can't be wrong, because then he murdered the Messiah.

Nathan Wheat:

Wow. That makes me think of, I forgot about this, Luke 22 is when Jesus is in front of the council. And, and this is when the council gets mad at Jesus. And what Jesus says is, guess what you're going to see from now on the Son of man seated at the right hand of God, and he finally says, and that's me, that's me. And, and they're like, we're gonna kill you. And they do. You know, they, they fulfill their mission. Well, now, Steven, is like, hey, remember that when Jesus said that, guess what I just saw, I saw Jesus, he's there, lift it up. He's their son of God, you know, you killed him, it didn't work. And they're, you know, their reaction is, is just that, like, we, it's just this strong gut reaction, we okay, we've got to do it even more, which we've got to get all of them, you know, it's, yeah, they're so furious. Because they're, what they're trying to suppress. It's not working. And so to it more, you know, more stronger, higher amplitude.

Rebecca Carrell:

And they're working so hard to stamp out something that they don't believe, right. Like, they don't believe Jesus is the Messiah. So let it go. Right. I don't believe leprechauns are real. So I'm, I'm just like, if someone wants to believe in leprechauns, if you want to go to a leprechaun convention, I'm just That's fine with me. I'm not on this big all out war against leprechauns. Because I don't believe there's anything to it. And so you do you see their response? And it's like, me death. I think you protest a little bit too much. You know, yeah. You somewhere in you, you know the truth. And you're working so hard to stamp it out? Because you need to be right. Because if you're wrong, those are eternal consequences.

Kate Boyd:

Right? I mean, I think about that today, when I think about when how we're presented new information, right, you can pretend like it's not there. And you can double down on the things that you believe on, or you can choose to do something with that information and process it and figure out what to do with it. And so it really feels like they're in like, double down territory. Totally. And it they certainly, at least at this point, they're dragging people to prison and stead of. Well, I mean, ravaging feels like they're probably also Kyler. Murray. Yeah,

Rebecca Carrell:

it holds that like, I think you could you, you could draw that from that. It doesn't deny that possibility.

Kate Boyd:

Right. And and the potential right for the same kind of trial that say, Stephen would have had an is there. So that sort of death is there. And I'd let I, I love how God uses that stuff. Because it's like, Well, okay, now we'll just leave and we'll go other places, and we'll tell other people about this thing. So then you see, people scattered, proclaiming the word. And then Philip even goes to the place that like nobody would ever want to go to some area. Yes, he crosses two matters in the middle, and he's doing the same thing you Know cleaning spirits and and preaching the gospel and people are attracted to him even Simon, who is this magician person? Or sorcerer or I don't know, there are a lot of different words and a lot of thoughts about what sign is and who he could be. But at least one commentary I was reading was saying that it was probably he sort of took notice, because Philip was presumably taking attention away from him. And he sort of wanted that power. And actually, okay, I wrote this down, because it was such a good quote. And so it's from Acts commentary by Willie james Jennings, and it's okay, beautifully written, everyone should read it. It's gorgeous. But he said, you know, having some control over people and drawing a cloud, a crowd is the closest thing to being God without God's help. No, like, Ooh, interesting. Um, and then there was another great sentence after that, I don't remember. But it was something along those same lines. So it's sort of like he had this power and attention and was called this like, Great and Powerful. The Great and Powerful Oz, right? Like, he's great guy. Yeah. And then, and then something comes along and has a different kind of power. And that sort of threatens his, and then he, you know, converts, but it's certainly not for it not without some working out of some stuff, you know,

Rebecca Carrell:

total as strict by his conversion, for sure. Yeah.

Kate Boyd:

Right. Yeah. Come around that.

Nathan Wheat:

Mm hmm. Yeah, yeah, I get it. Because, you know, in all of x, there's this language about the spirit. And like, oh, and we meet these people, and they were full of the Spirit, or Oh, and we met these people, and they didn't have the spirit yet. So we gave it to them, or this person was plainly full of the Spirit. And that's not how I, like I want that obviousness. And the like, Oh, you don't have it here. Here's the way for me to give it to you. Now you have it, you know, before and after. And Simon is looking at this. And he, you know, it's just like the people who, you know, Jesus kind of heals in different ways. So it's not like about how he was healing. And I think in this case, he's like, Oh, I saw how you did that. Let me have some of this. Like, I want to like Simon, I want to know what the thing is. That you just do. And yeah, then you get the result, whatever that is.

Rebecca Carrell:

So a whole bunch of commentators not not I mean, they're kind of divided. But there are plenty of commentators who, who would argue that Simon's conversion was not legitimate. The reason I can't fully land there, and I rest in the I don't know, because I don't think Scripture gives us a hard yes or no. But we don't see Simon responding the way the scribes and Pharisees did, right, like so the scribes and Pharisees heard Jesus, and they were like, he's got to go kill them, and they start plotting to murder him. But Simon actually is attracted to this. And and so he's not antagonistic, he is attracted he to be baptized is to put oneself in a posture of humility. So he does, you know, he believes that's that that is the word used for faith unto salvation. It doesn't always mean that, but we see it in that context, certainly. And so then He's baptized, and he continues with Philip, and that word continues. The Greek word involves a component of devotion. So he's devoted. And then he kind of falls off the rails when he asks him for, you know, when he asks if he can buy a piece of this, if he can pay to, you know, have a position of authority. But there is a piece of me who thinks, you know, we, we see, someone claimed to be a believer, and we want them to instantly be spiritually mature, right. And when my kids were learning to walk, you know, at 12 months of age, or whatever, I was not getting mad at them when they fell. I fully expected them to fall and I cheered them on when they fell so that they would get back up. So maybe he was not sincere. But I also just wonder if, if he was really immature, and just hadn't walked with the Lord long enough? I'm not willing to throw him out completely.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I'm with you. I'm not willing to throw him out completely. And I think, um, you know, after he's corrected, he's like, pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may happen to me like, I think, to your point, I mean, we don't know how much time has elapsed between these things. Right. So we have no idea but it certainly doesn't seem like it's been a super long time. Right. We can't expect someone to get to point Z right after right hey, he's that and yeah, like, you know, I I think I do want to change, I didn't understand what was happening. And now I kind of do and I, and it's sort of one of those things. I also read something that called this because they were talking about that sort of the difference between the laying on of hands for the spirit. So like, Why didn't happen, right? As it was, as like later in accent and other parts of the Bible where it's like, conversion in spirit happened at the same time. And it called this the Samaritan Pentecost, which I really loved. Oh, as sort of like this is sort of where it started then to be not just a Jewish thing, that now it's going into other kinds of people. And so it was sort of the same sort of happening to maybe legitamate, that same sort of experience for people outside of Israel specifically. And then of course, Peter and John come in, who are from the Jerusalem church. And so they also legitamate it because they're connecting with the Samaritan. So I thought that was a really interesting perspective that I hadn't thought of before.

Rebecca Carrell:

Oh, I hadn't thought of that either. I love that the Samaritan Pentecost. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Like I'm using

Kate Boyd:

that from now on. Yeah.

Nathan Wheat:

And isn't that a great example of how I'm sure the Gentiles are going to be getting it wrong in clumsy ways? Yes. You know, I

Unknown:

think so. You know, we're

Nathan Wheat:

sorry, I didn't grow up with this stuff. I've got you know, I grew up in the church. I get it wrong in legalistic ways all the time. Yeah, sure. But then I've got you know, you know, I go to church with a friend or something, and they, you know, swear word slips out. And, you know, they're like, you know, they're, you know, it's they don't know how to dress or they don't know, you're not supposed to say I mean, we

Kate Boyd:

wouldn't have most of the New Testament, if they weren't getting it wrong. You know, any mean? Like, that's all that Paul wrote about was like, Okay, you didn't read it, but we're gonna fix it. Yep. So I think we have to be willing to let ourselves get it wrong, but do so in a in a spirit that we're willing to repent and change of. I totally love that. All right, Philip, and the unic. This is wild. I know. He's just sort of like, mm angel said to Philip, go. He's like, okay,

Rebecca Carrell:

sharp, Rise and go. And that that just feels a little reminiscent of Abraham to me go from the land and go to the land, I will show you rise and go and sacrifice your son. So I don't know if there's a sacred echo there. I hear it, I sometimes hear things that aren't there. But I did notice that language that that God is doing a new thing. When we see that, you know, the rising go, it's almost like a like a small subtle cue. Okay, sit down, buckle your seatbelt. Because something's about to happen, you know?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. So it was interesting, some of the stuff I was reading. So one thing I noticed this time around that I didn't notice before, is that the unit had been in Jerusalem to like, go to the temple and worship, which means Yeah, he was a Jew of some kind, obviously, well, but according to law, he couldn't be fully part of it, because his unique pneus kept him from that to be part of the community completely. But whether a proselyte like converting or was born a Jewish person, he was there. So he was somewhat at least familiar with, with what was going on, which was interesting,

Rebecca Carrell:

and couldn't go in. But yeah, because he was a unike. And somebody

Kate Boyd:

had asked, like, why Ethiopia. And one commentary I read said that, like Homer and some other folks who wrote, you know, things back then considered Ethiopia, the end of the earth. And so that way, it could be sort of a connection to again, acts one, eight. So in these, it does sort of go to the end of the earth through Yeah, Philip and then expands out. Yeah. Which was really I was like, Ooh, interesting. Um, yeah. So Nathan, what, what in this sort of jumped out at you?

Nathan Wheat:

Yeah, this was really, this really hit me hard, actually. And I've, there's all kinds of commentary about what it means to be a unike. And I've kind of seen, like, there's the like, you know, you can be born that way. You know, there's, you know, and then the question is, like, is this a mistake? Is this God's plan, you know, you can be made that way against your will as a child or your upbringing, or you can choose to be that way for for some prestigious, you know, reason maybe. And it's so interesting, because those things are the I think there's probably fruit in that discussion of what that means. But sometimes I think we spend too much time on that part of it. Yeah, and maybe it doesn't matter so much if it's nature or nurture or choice. We have Unix. We have Unix among us. And I really thought about this as, like, carry people who carry that special kind of shame. That's like both very personal, but also colors, how you interact with your society or with your religion or with the world. And, you know, for him, it was, it's literal, it's a unike. He is prevented from worshiping. But you know it for me, it was personal sin in my, you know, unwise messy relationship that led to a son. But it can be chronic illness, that kind of, you know, like, in that, like, Yes, both personal. And, like, private, but like, also just how, you know, like, divorce or miscarriage, or like sexual trauma, or your attractions or your identity or disability or like, growing up with a broken family. There's so many, Unix, so many kinds of like, is this was this God's plan for me, you know, is this what's happening? And I almost cried when I get to this, you know, he's reading this, this verse, talking about humiliation being taken away. And the Unix like, I read so much hope, but almost like a fear of hoping in this question where he says, yeah, please tell me. Is this prophet talking about someone else? himself? Or maybe he's talking to me, is like almost afraid to say like, Is there hope for me in this verse? Mm hmm. And that just like, I connect with that so well, and there are, you know, like, the woman who was bleeding for 12 years, that's that kind of thing. You know, it's like, personal, shameful, private, but also she's unceremoniously unclean. And there's hope for her. That was restoration and complete healing.

Rebecca Carrell:

And not just hope. But God singled them out like, like this Unix story is an almost an interruption. You know, the way it reads. And and you're right, he, he's, he wanted to get as close to God as he possibly could. But he couldn't go in because he was a unike. And so God brings Philip to him. Wow, like the the preciousness of that that the one who feels the most shame, you know, but the one who's so desperately searching, God's like, I've got you, I've got you. And he brings Philips straight to him out of all the people Philip could have gotten to.

Nathan Wheat:

And then there's that like, that intense because like, there's also deuteron, Deuteronomy 23, that's like, there's something wrong with you, you, you stay away. Right? So it's just such a hurtful place to be. And there's, there's people who are healed, but there's also like, Paul's thorn in the flesh that the answer is like, Nope, you know, My grace is enough. And I think that we tell ourselves, and the world tells us, and the church tells us, they find these things and say, you are too broken, or I tell myself, I am too broken. And God is like, No, I meet you in brokenness. And maybe that means an end to brokenness. Or maybe that means like, nope, I'll sit, you know, a different kind of hope. And that, for those kinds of people, if you open Isaiah, and you start in 53, and you keep you do 5455, and 56, God is just pouring into you, this, this hope. And I think it's, it's just an amazing call out to, to these people who, you know, my descendants are cut off from me, you know, I'm a unike. And he's like, you can rejoice and you're gonna have, you know, a different kind of thing. Or even, I'm inviting you back into the assembly, because Deuteronomy says, You're not allowed in the assembly. Yeah. And in the middle of that, yeah.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. It's like another sign of that expansion, right, that like now, what was not there is now allowed in this version of what's happening, there's a new movement, a new unfolding. And this is part of it. And, again, the will so the willie james commentary that I read, he also mentioned about how, you know, it doesn't say that he like stayed or that Philip went with him and like, taught him a bunch of stuff. But rather, he went to Ethiopia, you know, basically, immediately and was able to like he'd saw him no more and went on his way. And so it sort of didn't give them an opportunity to shape this Ethiopian person into a very Jewish, like, faith like they had. It's sort of allowed for this potential for a diverse expression of you know, What the people of Jesus could be without some of that very specific influence, or own culture? Yeah. And so I thought that was really interesting like that he wasn't he, they put it as like he wasn't there to be reshaped into the identity of all the other people. Instead, he went and was free to be his full self and all of different ways that he was different than the Jewish people. But he was still a part of the people of God theater. And I love that so much. That's a word

Rebecca Carrell:

for us today, as we think admissions and what it looks like to bring the gospel to people. That's a word for us today. That's really good, Kate.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Okay, so to wrap up, let's do some meat thoughts. And we thoughts. Um, Rebecca, why don't you tell us what you're taking from it for you and for us as a people.

Rebecca Carrell:

So I, my knee is a we, God uses us. And I think our deepest joy is going to be found in allowing him to use us. But it's not about us. And he doesn't need us, right. I mean, he picked Philip up and put him in another city after his time with the unic was done. God can do anything. God can use anyone. And because that's the truth, then nothing hinges on us. And, and so that frees us to just go with the Lord and let like, we can't disappoint him, we can't let him down. Because it's not God's plan for our lives. It's God's plan, and we have a role. And to me, just seeing the sovereignty of God starting all the way back with where Steven started with Abraham, and how everything pointed to Jesus. And then Jesus hands that cloak to us and His Spirit and dwells in us. To me, it's just a these people are going to be reached. It's just whether or not we get the blessing of being a part of it. Like, if I don't know that just knowing that we can rest in the certainty of God's sovereignty, and that we can't fail him. Because it's not about us to me, was this beautiful? Oh, okay. And then after you realize it's off. Yeah. And I really feel this sense of the Lord saying, Listen, you so you so you sow seeds of grace, saturated gospel words, and I'll do the same thing. You do the sowing, I'll do the saving. And and that is freedom for me. And hopefully, for you.

Kate Boyd:

Wow, thanks. How about you, Nathan?

Nathan Wheat:

Well, that that was awesome. First of all, because I, I think I forget in all of this, that these are the acts of Jesus, like it's Jesus doing all of this stuff, you know, not me, it's not, not me. And when I see this healing, or this compassionate Jesus, that's Jesus, who he is. My me, comes from Acts 757, which I think is a prophetic announcement of social media, and what its gonna be like they shouted with loud voice, they didn't like what they heard. They shouted with voices, these grown men covered their ears. And they attack him, right? I was like, Oh, my goodness, how many times do I see something that kind of calls me out a little bit, kind of, like Rebecca mentioned, like, maybe I'm guilty of this. And so I doubled down, I turn up my volume, I cover up my ears, and I attack back, you know. And it's, those gut reactions are so strong, I'm so convinced of my correctness or rightness or justice, whatever, whatever it is. And these were grown men in practically their Supreme Court, right. And I think that I am also guilty sometimes of being guilty of the thing that I am like, yelling at someone else about same sex word for me, for sure. And then the we I just that, I think for those, those Unix as, as a unit, I think having the vulnerability to actually be open about your hopes and your fears. Because that's what started this all off for the Ethiopian. He was like, in my, in my kind of retelling of it. He's saying, like, God, I hope this verse is about me. You know, I'm afraid to even you know, that's a vulnerable thing to be like, I don't even know, you know, if there's something there for God in this place that I feel is so broken that God can't even get there. And there's so much that God offers when we bring that to him and bring that to other people. And for churches, to be safe places for UNIX and not just like the Hallmark gotta hear you right away or you should To be happy and joyful, and that trite healing kind of stuff. But also, you know, in Isaiah, you know, it's maybe 56 or 57, where the invitation is like, hey, there's water right here, and we've got wine and milk ready for you, let's celebrate, you know, and where you are right now.

Kate Boyd:

So I would say, my me and my, we, I think, my me sort of goes back to Simon and that idea of like, wanting the attention or wanting a shortcut to whatever it is, right? Instead of, like having this this posture of, you know, leaning on the right kind of power in order to help people instead of to make money or give money or whatever, for myself, right. Um, and even just sort of that responsive, like, repentance and change and being willing to do that. And then I think the Wii is kind of what I just I touched on at the end is, you know, being allowing for that diversity and that like space, for not every body's Christian journey, or not every churches, you know, ideas, or even every nation or place to have the same sort of exact expression, like this blueprint of what it looks like to do this thing. And I certainly think there are things that we share with there so much that, you know, we each bring when we bring our full selves, and our experiences and all of that to the table, and I think we can, we would do better, and we would be a richer community for having celebrating that and stop trying to like stamp it out.

Rebecca Carrell:

I love that. That's really good.

Kate Boyd:

Thank you so much for joining us today. If you enjoyed this discussion, I would love it if you would rate and review the show on your favorite podcast player. You know the drill. This helps more people find the show and learn with us as we talk through Scripture. And then I would love if you came over on social media to talk about what your big takeaways were, what your main thought and we thought were from our discussion, or for when you dove into the chapters. You can find me on Instagram at Kate Boyd Co. and on Twitter at D Kate Boyd. And don't forget to check the show notes to find and follow today's contributors as well. Thank you for joining

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us.