Whatever you want to call them, you know who they are (or actually, you don’t). They’re the people who contributed to the movie, but didn’t make the credits. They played a very minor role in the movie such as walking down a sidewalk in a group of people or being one of many nameless customers in a store. Half the time, they’re only partially in focus while the focus and lighting is on the main actor(s). They seem unimportant, but in reality, the movie wouldn’t be the same without them.
It’s the same with a nameless group of people in Acts 11. I mentioned them tonight in my teaching and I was really intrigued by not only their lack of credit, but the powerful way God used them.
We’re given no names, only this description:
Acts 11:19 – “those who were scattered after the persecution”
Acts 11:20 – “some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene”
That’s it. No bios, no historical background, not even a nickname, just a quick description and location. Yet, look what God did through these no-names:
Acts 11:21 – “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.”
God used a group of no-names to help bridge the gap between the Jews and Gentiles! They were used by God to reach an unreached people group. I AM A GENTILE. I am included in the story of the Gospel because of the obedience of a bunch of people of whose names I will never know! These overlooked people changed the course of Christianity through their simple obedience. Plus, their obedience wasn’t as simple as we make it sound. The whole reason they left Jerusalem was because Saul (before Christ) was fueling a Satanic persecution against the church. These people risked their lives by continuing to share the Gospel.
Their names may have never graced the pages of Scripture, but their obedience was not overlooked. Neither is yours.