The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
— Acts 6:7
It is tucked away almost like a footnote within the story of the rapid growth of the church of Christ in the first months after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. And yet, recalling the rejection and betrayal Jesus experienced from his very own people, these few words in today’s verse come as a surprise: “a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”
Perhaps for a while these priests had gone along with the efforts of their leaders, thinking that if they could force people to stop talking about Jesus, the whole matter would just go away. Perhaps for a while they had tried to go along with covering up the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. It was probably very difficult for some of these priests to change; after all, they had spent their whole lives serving in the temple worship, bringing sacrifices and doing many other rituals on behalf of the people. But now they were called to new roles as believers in Jesus, whom they had opposed but who was also the Messiah they had been waiting for.
This little note reminds us how the penetrating virus of self-deception can be overwhelmed and healed by the medicine of simply admitting the truth. As Jesus himself promised, “The truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Are you ready acknowledge Jesus as God’s Messiah?
Lord Jesus, it is because self-deception is so deadly that we need the truth to show us the way to life. May the light of your truth set us free. Amen.
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