Saturday, November 05, 2016

Acts 28:21-27 (KJV) Has “Negative Press” Dulled Your Ears?

Acts 28:21-27 (KJV)
And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
We have here an example of fresh (or so one might think) ears to the Gospel. These are Jews who, by their own admission, had received nothing negative concerning Paul.
  • No letters had been sent to warn them about him
  • No travelers had come telling their experiences with him
This sounds like “virgin soil,” an opportunity to preach the Gospel to those of his own kindred who had not been tainted by “negative press” against Paul. But when the meeting was through Paul’s judgment was that they, as were the Jews in general, blinded to the truth.
There is, planted within the text, an indication of the cause of this blindness; they had heard that the message of Christianity was, “every where spoken against.” They listened to a message they had never heard with a prejudice against it simply because they knew Jews everywhere were against it.
We have to take care that we understand our own ability to receive the truth of God’s Word is tainted by what we know others think. It may be that we listen with what we believe is an open ear and clear eyes when in fact our ears are dull and our eyes darkened by the veil of the notions of others.
  • To reject a thing because we have given it a fair hearing and find it to be false has merit. 
  • To reject it because we are, even unwittingly, biased against it is tragic. 

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Acts 28:21-27 (KJV) Has “Negative Press” Dulled Your Ears?

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