News flash: Acts of the Apostles has a lot of Christians in it. We mean a lot. Seriously. We started to put together a list of all the Christians that are mentioned in the story, but we got super exhausted and had to sleep for a week. We won't put you through that.
There are women and men, apostles and disciples, Jews and Gentiles, Judeans and foreigners, rich people and poor people. Whew! Told you there were a lot. The early Christians were a diverse bunch.
So who are some of the more important Christian folks in this story? We're glad you asked:
- Theophilus (1:1). This whole book is addressed to him, so we're guessing he believes.
- Mary, the mother of Jesus (1:14). She hangs around with the apostles and her other sons spreading the word.
- Ananias and Sapphira (5:1). They're Christians, but because they hold out on the community they die. Oops!
- Philip (6:5). One of the seven appointed with Stephen. He travels and converts some folks. His daughters also have the gift of prophecy, so see them before you buy lotto tickets.
- The Ethiopian eunuch (8:27-39). Philip turns him onto Jesus.
- Tabitha/Dorcas(9:36). Peter brings her back to life. She's a regular Lady Lazarus.
- Cornelius the Centurion (10:22). The first Gentile convert. Thanks, Peter!
- John Mark (12:12). Travels with Paul. Ends up being the reason that he and Barnabas split.
- Barnabas (13:1). Paul's original traveling companion. The end up having a bit of a falling out. Bummer.
- Sergius Paulus the proconsul (13:7). Converts when Paul blinds Bar-Jesus. Isn't easily impressed.
- Silas (15:22). Another one of Paul's travel buddies who does some time with him.
- Timothy (16:1-3). He has a Jewish mom and a Greek dad. He gets circumcised and travels with Paul. We're not sure which hurts worse.
- The jailer in Philippi (16:23). He locks up Paul and Silas, but converts when he sees them bust out of jail. It's a miracle!
- Aquila and Priscilla (18:2). Two tentmakers who hang with Paul in Corinth and get mentioned in his other letters.
- Apollos (18:24). A guy who shows up in Ephesus and Corinth preaching a slightly-not-quite-right version of the gospel.
- Agabus (21:10). The prophet from Judea who predicts Paul's gonna die. He's right.
What's the point of telling all these stories? Luke clearly wants us to see that lots and lots of people are believing in Jesus. It's good publicity. The diversity of stories also goes to show the diversity in the community. Jesus has something for everyone!