Acts 14: 14
“But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting”
Not Rest in Peace but Rip in Pieces.
When the crowd saw the miracle but didn’t hear the message they responded with trying to worship man as gods.
When the team heard the attempt of worship they ran out so that they could be seen by everyone.
They did what their culture expected anyone to do who was stirred by deep passion, grief and trouble.
When Joseph was sold as a slave, his brother Reuben tore his own clothes.
When Job and Eli had heard their children had been killed they tore their clothes.
Caiaphas accusing Jesus of blasphemy tore his clothes.
I think the seamstresses were always in employment in those days.
Today we see Barnabas and Paul doing the exact same thing.
What passionately moves you today? Injustice? Grief of a loved one? Evil acts?
I am sure all of those things still move us.
The missionary team ripped their clothes because the worship due to God was being directed to them. Their ministry was being seen more than God. They were becoming more important. They were becoming greater He was becoming less. The message had not been heard only what they had done. Their evangelistic efforts had failed on the crowd even though their popularity had soared. Perhaps it is like a church growing numerically because of the amazing programme within it. The church gathers large followers but no one wants to be a disciple of Christ.
God tells us in Joel 2:13 not to rip our clothes but our hearts. Maybe we need to be more heartbroken over our successes that appear so but are actually temporary and worth nothing in the sight of God.
Maybe we need to RIP.