No Apostles Here!
Lord, You know my heart and You discern the hidden secrets of my mind. I’m grateful for Your love and acceptance.
Read ACTS 13:46-14:7
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
As you ponder this passage, recall how you came to Christ, and give thanks to God for those people who shared the good news with you.
The good news about Jesus Christ evokes strong reactions. For some, it is a source of great joy when they discover the life-changing message of the grace of God which transforms us inwardly and promises us eternal life. For others, this same message produces deep feelings of hatred and resentment. As Paul and Barnabas discover in different locations, those who oppose their message campaign vigorously against the apostles. Not only do they incite others to attack them physically, they even plot to kill them. Adopting strong-arm tactics, they force Paul and Barnabas to flee from one city to another.
At first sight it might appear that opposition to Paul and Barnabas came only from Jews; however, the present passage makes two references to unbelieving Jews inciting Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas. This was not simply a struggle setting Jews against the followers of Jesus. It was a conflict that included Gentiles. Hostility to the gospel message is never confined to one particular group of people; it may come from anywhere.
While Paul’s custom was to proclaim the Good News to Jews first, he saw his mission as bringing salvation to the ends of the earth. This remains God’s mission for his Church today, and it is a mission in which all of us ought to share. Those who opposed Paul and Barnabas seemed to have the advantage: the apostles were frequently forced to move on. Nevertheless, their witness to Jesus Christ bore fruit. When one door closed, another opened. We, too, should not become disheartened when the good news we share with others provokes a hostile response. There is nothing new or strange in this. As with Paul and Barnabas, it may simply be time to share the good news somewhere else.
Pray for those whose special calling is to be church planters and evangelists. Think creatively about how you may support the global mission of Christ’s Church.
Sovereign Lord, You are directing and guiding my life. May I use each moment to support Your mission in the world.
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