When in our youth and even into early adulthood there are many obstacles that the Adversary can tempt people with. Believers in God have it real bad as the Adversary’s desire is to thwart God’s plan in our lives. It is this that the next portion of Lessons from the Apostles talks about.
DIDACHE 6 See That No One Leads You Astray
See that no one leads you astray from the way of this teaching, since all other teachings train you without God. For if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able, then at least do what you can. Concerning food, do what you are able to do and be on guard against meat offered to idols, for that is to worship dead gods.
If someone says, “Jump off this rock and don’t worry, the ground is soft and will ease your fall.” Would you do it? Look at the conditions, the land on the side you are jumping to is 25 feet down and it looks a bit jagged with thorns and loose rock but grassy with no way back up. Still going to do it? There is also a large fire ant hill right nearby but there is one tiny spot that is clear, soft sand. Still going to try it?
When Peter was led to the Gentile by the Holy Spirit, he was forced to do things that were not the norm for him but it done so that he would have a clearer understanding on how they lived. He was not led astray by the actions and foods. Peter kept the Word on his heart and did not lose himself to the ways of man.
The false/man-made idols were still being worshipped and had grain and drink offerings mostly set before them. Yes in some spots they sacrificed animals but sometimes the food that went to the idols was already prepared. This food went either back to their own home or was given to leaders or the needy.
In this day and age it is easier to be coerced into falling away. In fact, there are so many ways that it is surprising that we have not completely been torn apart. We do not know what we are eating unless we grow it ourselves so that makes it hard to distinguish whether someone might have offered up the animal before the slaughter. If you think about it, the farmer or breeder raises the animals then when the time comes offers them up for money. Of course this is the way of doing things in society today because we need money to survive, but it was not like that back then.
Jesus warned the Jews about being led astray and even corrected the Sanhedrin in their misguidance through God’s Law which they perverted to suit the society and themselves. But this section has a deeper meaning. Temptations of man to do things that are apart from God lead to sin. If one is tempted and another sees and desires the same, the first caused the second to stumble. When helping one in correction from temptation or sin do not fall in the same trappings so you cause the person to stumble further. Keep God’s Word on your heart and stay in the teachings otherwise you will suffer the same.
The first century Christian Community was very successful in turning Jews back to and Gentiles into the Way of Life which was through Christ and continued to a relationship with God. No one was “converted”, they did not mutate or transform, they had a renewed heart that led them to God.
These last six weeks were the basics of living for the Community of Believers. How did they keep the Great Commission and what were the ways they kept God’s Commands? What did they practice? We will return next Sunday with a study on Baptism.