“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.” vss. 17-18
According to Luke’s account, after the healing of the crippled beggar, a crowd gathered around Peter and John in the temple precincts. Peter uses the opportunity to confront them with their complicity in the death of Jesus, in whose name the man had been healed. He ends by offering them understanding–he knows they had acted in ignorance and had actually been used by God as a part of a larger plan. This isn’t a new idea–our faith ancestors had figured out a long time before, that God could bring good out of evil. And it’s still a comfort to know that the ignorant and foolish things we do are not the end of the story. As we look back we are repelled by the way well-meaning people have acted. Sometimes followers of Jesus have held a multitude of racist and sexist prejudices and have led the way in the repression of others. Some of us picked up these attitudes as children and have been filled with shame as we’ve realized how the hurtful ignorance of church and society has infected us. While we can’t claim innocence for those attitudes and actions, it is good to know that nothing is beyond God’s redemption. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “All things work together for good to those who love God,” and that is our hope and consolation.
Thought for the Day: When has my ignorance been hurtful?