Many years ago, I was a volunteer paramedic.  I served on an island, not far from a major city, but because it was an island with no bridge, only a ferry, it was considered remote.  Because it was remote, we were able to perform the exact same functions as a Level 1 Paramedic anywhere else.  We could use a semi-automatic defibrillator, and give five life-saving medications, based on several weekends of training and testing rather than the two years of college most paramedics receive.

I loved the work, and considered becoming a paramedic myself.  I started researching college programs, but was quickly discouraged.  They all required certain prerequisites, and I had them all except one thing.  I never took High School Biology.  I had taken all the other science and math courses, but never had time in my schedule for biology.

Here I was, a practicing paramedic already on Wolfe Island, and I was told if I wanted to get certified to work anywhere else I needed to go back to high school, take on course, then do two years of college.  I had already proven myself able to understand the science, the biology, behind the various medical conditions we treated and how the treatments worked, but that couldn’t replace a single high school credit.  Frustrating, but the reality, sometimes you need to have prerequisites in order to advance, and there were good reasons in this case, and probably exceptions if I had actually pursued that direction in life.

Well, something similar happened with the first Christians 2000 years ago.  There were some people becoming Christians, already practicing the faith, learning to follow Jesus, who were told they should stop because they didn’t have the right prerequisites.  It wasn’t red tape, or an educational credit, or a piece of paper they were missing, it was that they had not converted to Judaism before becoming Christians, and had never been circumcised.

Did Christians from non-Jewish backgrounds need to become Jews, to become Christians for real?  Did the males among them need to be circumcised?

That’s the question we’ll explore this week.  But first:

Question: When have you been told to stop doing something because you didn’t have the right prerequisites, training or title?

Meeting with a Group?  Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide

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