Analysis Of The Gentile Mission

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The Gentile mission caused mixed emotions of support and opposition due to particular people’s initial struggles with their viewpoint on the matter, as Gentiles held an unfavorable status among the Jewish society, and some wavered between where they stood. The result, however, was ultimately a division between groups of people who either supported or opposed such an outreach. The key earthly players leading up to the outreach of the Gentiles included Cornelius, Peter, and an angel of the Lord. Follow up support later came from Paul, Barnabas, James, the apostles, and the Jerusalem council. In contrast, non-supporters included a major portion of the Jewish people, believers and non-believers, that openly displayed their contempt for the Gentiles. …show more content…
Beginning with the proponents of the Gentile mission, Cornelius’s belief in and reverence for God encouraged his care for the needy, prompting God’s acknowledgment of him via an angel of the Lord, as noted in the lecture notes for “Acts” (n.d.) in the Characteristics section (p. 2). His meeting with Peter, along with the vision from God, altered Peter’s original negative view regarding Gentiles; thus, facilitating the furthered missionary works towards them. Peter’s trust in God over the situation shows in this statement, “’In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness He accepts.’” (Acts 10:34-35, NKJV). The Jerusalem church and apostles also did not look kindly upon the Gentiles, but Peter’s case for this mission proved to be persuasive and he gained their support, as they found Peter’s reasoning to be from God. Enter in Barnabas, described as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24, NKJV), and per his works he seemed to be compassionate towards the Gentiles. There seemed to be a moment though when he reverted back to the common negative mindset against the Gentiles, along with Peter, while …show more content…
The Jews grew jealous of the Gentile’s presence in the Gospel preaching’s; thus, letting their emotions transform to violence, leading them to stone Paul and leave him for dead (Acts 13-14, NKJV). Furthermore, Jewish believers thought Gentiles were not exempt from circumcision with respect to being saved (Gundry, 2012, p. 356). A passive-aggressive nature appeared amongst some Jews, and even though they turned away from Paul and Barnabas’s ministry, they also did not want the Gentiles to partake in it either. King Herod helped fuel this animosity by displaying his dislike towards Christians and any mission they might undertake by killing the apostle James, and per the Bible, “he killed James…and because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter” (Acts 12:2, NKJV). Herod tried to thwart the mission and encouraged the Jews in their protest. Joining the mix were particular Pharisees, in spite of them being believers, as they sided with the legalism that Jewish people were clinging to, as the laws of Moses still governed people’s mentality. They felt, “’It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses’” (Acts 15:5, NKJV). Surprisingly, a group of Gentiles became part of the persecution against their own people, and Gundry (2012) surmised that the envy of the Jews

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