Well lookee’hear! We are almost half way through the Book Of Acts. We are entering into our lessons on the formation of the Gentile church and I am really looking forward to the discussions that lay ahead concerning the nature of church in the Christian life. If you have missed any of our previous discussions, you can catch up by going to the House On Fire Page found in the Pastor Wrinkles drop down above.
Here is today’s discussion topic:
Our last lesson was about Paul’s message given in the synagogue of Pisidian Antioch. Can you find that on the map?
before we read today’s passage I want you to consider that Paul has by the point of his preaching in Pisidian Antioch already carried the word from Syrian Antioch across the isle of Cyprus over the Mediterranean Sea to Perga and up to Pisidian Antioch. That entire journey is given to us in two verses of the Bible (chapter 13:13,14). It’s hardly a foot note in the Word but we have to remember Paul was not travelling by plane, speed boat or monorail. There is no indication that Paul even owned a camel or a horse. As you read the next passage I want you to put yourself in Paul’s shoes. Consider the difficulties of the task God has laid on Paul’s shoulders. What are some of the difficulties Paul faced in doing this work?
Now that you have answered that, here is today’s reading:
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost Acts. 13:42-52
As you consider the difficulty of the journey and the work Paul and Barnabus were doing, how do you think they felt about being expelled from Pisidian Antioch? How would you have felt? What mind-set do you think was required for Paul and Barnabus to keep going on to Iconium? Do you have that same mind-set? If not what needs to change?