Open In App

Risky Business

I rarely paid attention in history class. I found no relevance between my life and ancient civilizations. I have since learned that if you truly want to grasp a full understanding of the bible, you must study the history of the people in it.

The Jews and Samaritans shared the same lineage. They were both descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, but their religious differences caused a rift between them. The Gentiles, also referred to as Greeks in some Bible versions, were all of the other citizens that were not of the lineage of Israel. This is a simple explanation of a subject that spans hundreds of years, but it helps us understand the book of Acts.

Acts focuses on the spreading of the Gospel and establishment of the early church. In Acts 11:19-21, the writer records the rapid growth in the number of believers and the various backgrounds from which they came: “Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

The rift between these groups made it risky for followers of Christ to reach out to non-believers, yet they pressed on through persecution and discomfort. In America today, a melting pot of societal differences still exists, but the risks of spreading the Gospel are not nearly as severe. Step out of your comfort zone and tell someone about Jesus Christ, how through His salvation we can all be united as one body no matter what race, ethnicity or economic status.


  • Like some of the Jews, how might you be limiting your evangelism only to a select group of people?
  • Like the Jews and the Samaritans, is there someone within your family that you should reach out to?
  • How has your understanding of humanity been positively affected through relationships with believers who are not just like you?

Like what you just read? Download the NewSpring App for an even better reading experience. You can read, share, and bookmark your favorites quickly and easily from your phone.

We want you to have a safe experience while using our site.

Unfortunately, there are security risks associated with your browser. To keep you protected we will be discontinuing support to this browser. Please visit for a secure browser update.