Idiots and Acts Chapter 10: An Important Conversation With My Younger Self, #3–Acts 10:9-48
by Kurt Bennett
Published on May 17, 2023
Categories: Spiritual Growth

Idiots and Acts Chapter 10: An Important Conversation With My Younger Self, #3–Acts 10:9-48

By Kurt Bennett

Twice now I’ve travelled through time and had a conversation with my younger self. If you’re interested you can check out those two previous conversations here, An Important Conversation With My Younger Self: Acts 3:22-23, and here, Another Important Conversation With My Younger Self: John 13:35 (and Matthew 22:36-40). Today I’ll be having a conversation with my younger self about Acts 10:9-48, and what that passage has to do with idiots.

Read Acts 10:9-48

A Third Conversation with My Younger Self

Old Kurt: “Hi. I’m back.”

Young Kurt: “Again?”

Old Kurt: “Yes, again.”

Young Kurt: “And . . . what do you want to talk about now?”

Old Kurt: “The idiots.”

Young Kurt: “Which ones?”

Old Kurt: “All of them.”

Young Kurt looks slightly confused and annoyed. “What do you mean, all of them?”

Old Kurt: “So, remember when Peter was praying on the housetop of Simon the tanner and he saw the vision of ‘common and unclean’ animals, and the voice came to him and told him to kill and eat?”

Young Kurt: “Yes.”

Old Kurt: “So there’s an interesting thing about tanners. They tanned hides all day which meant it was necessary to touch dead animals all day, and touching dead animals made a person unclean. And yet here we see Peter staying at Simon the tanner’s house. It seems God was already doing something to change Peter, even before he had this vision.

“And then he has the vision about the ‘common and unclean’ animals and the voice Peter hears in his vision says, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’

“And just after the vision, right as Peter was thinking and analyzing and trying to figure out what the vision might mean, the Holy Spirit said to Peter: Three men are looking for you. Go with them without hesitation, for I have sent them.

“And Peter goes with these Gentiles, and he shows up at the house of Cornelius the centurion, and he’s met by Cornelius and a group of Cornelius’s friends and relatives. And Cornelius falls down at Peter’s feet and worships him. But Peter said, ‘Stand up; I too am a man.’

“And Peter shares about Jesus with these Gentiles, and the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard him. And they were amazed that the Holy Spirit was poured out on Gentiles. And Peter had them baptized.”

Young Kurt: “Thanks for the refresher. But what does that have to do with me and with all the idiots I encounter?”

Old Kurt: “The Gentiles are the idiots, if you will.”

A quizzical expression comes over young Kurt’s face.

Old Kurt continues: “I know most of the time you think you’re the smartest guy in the room, and that you’re more knowledgeable than the people around you. But God is going to change that.

“I know that right now you think you’re doing pretty well compared to most people when it comes to following Jesus, and in many ways you are doing well. It’s just that you’ve been blessed with some gifts that others haven’t. And when other people don’t meet your expectations, well, you call them idiots, if not out loud, in your heart and mind and soul.”

Young Kurt: “Seriously though, is there really any hope for some of these people? What about the ones who are beyond idiots? What about the ones who are ignorant, or evil, or both? You know, the irredeemable ones.”

Old Kurt: “Yesterday I learned about a racist white man who beat an African-American man. Years later that racist white man came to the black man he had beaten and asked him for forgiveness. The two men cried and embraced each other. They reconciled.

“We can’t know what God is doing inside of another person.”

Young Kurt: “Well, I mean, to be honest, sometimes we can have a pretty good idea.”

Old Kurt: “Can we? Listen, I know you think you’re doing OK right now in terms of walking with Jesus, and I also know you think as you get older that you’ll feel even better about it, but I’m afraid that’s just not the case. As you get older you’re going to study Jesus more, and as you study Jesus you’re going to experience a greater awareness of the gap between who you are and who He is.

“And then there will be the revelations.”

Young Kurt: “Revelations?”

Old Kurt: “As you get older, God will start to reveal things to you that you weren’t previously aware of. Character flaws. So I guess I’m just trying to give you a head start on at least one of those character flaws. When you’re older, you’re not going to call anyone an idiot anymore.”

Young Kurt: “I know I’m not perfect! I know I have flaws!”

Old Kurt: “I know you know. I was you, remember. But I’m not talking about those flaws and shortcomings. I’m talking about a whole new set of flaws and shortcomings. Flaws that are obnoxious. You’re currently oblivious to these flaws.

“But when you become aware of them, you’ll be mortified.”

Young Kurt remains quiet, but old Kurt can tell he’s thinking and analyzing and trying to figure out what all this might mean.

Kurt Cameron Bennett is a writer best known as the author of the book Love Like Jesus. After attending church and studying the Bible for most of his adult life, he was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven-year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote Love Like Jesus for himself as much as for others.

Before becoming an author he served as a firefighter in Medford, Oregon. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He currently lives in Hillsboro, Oregon, just a few miles from his son Gabe, daughter (-in-law) Charise, and grandson Andrew. He has another son Nate and daughter (-in-law) Anastasia who live in Sammamish, Washington.

His blog, God Running is a place for anyone who wants to (or even anyone who wants to want to) love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.


Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


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