I’m currently on the Acts of Apostles. Chapter 8 gives us an account of Philip and how he preached the Gospel in Samaria. There was bad blood between Jews and Samaritans (John 4:9) that dated back centuries. But the Apostles in Jerusalem immediately sent Peter and John to Samaria once they heard that Samaria had received the Gospel, for the purpose of the impartation of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-15).
I went on to chapter 11 of the same book of Acts and I was surprised that some believers in Jerusalem had a problem with what Peter did in chapter 10- the Gentiles had received the Gospel. Acts 11:1-3:1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judæa heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
If they could send Apostles to Samaria without reservation, what was the problem with the Gentiles receiving Christ? Did the Jews not regard every non-Jew (Samaritan inclusive) as a Gentile?
The answer lies in the definition of the word “Samaritan”. You see, Samaritans were (are) half-bloods: part Jew, part Gentile. It all happened during the Assyrian captivity of Samaria. Some of the deported Jews of Samaria were brought back and they intermarried with the Gentiles.
So it would seem that the reason this dispute didn’t arise in the case of the Samaritans is because Samaritans maintain the circumcision part of the Jewish culture. What do you guys think?
Food for thought:
Gal 3:27-29:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
In Jesus Christ, we can be all we are meant to be.