Paul and Barnabas were preaching the gospel at Antioch, a city located along the route from Ephesus to Cilicia in the Roman province of Pisidia. There, they were blessed by many who believed and were born again of faith in the risen Christ, and at the same time, the missionaries encountered persecution from Jewish leaders.
“42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.” (Acts 13:42-43)
Because they were former Jews themselves, Paul and Barnabas felt comfortable sharing the gospel to God fearing audiences who would know about the trial and execution of Jesus in Jerusalem. At the synagogue, they were led to exhort those who listened with the truth about the fulfillment of scripture, the life, death and resurrection of the Christ.
“44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him.” (Acts 13:44-45)
The following Saturday, after both men had continued to advance the gospel throughout the city, thousands of people gathered to hear the message preached by Paul and Barnabas. This is recorded as the first time Paul preached to a large audience, during which Jewish took notice of the attention the missionaries received which prompted them to plot against the men.
“46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 13:46-47)
Under attack by the city’s Jewish leaders, who were undoubtedly jealous of the attention the missionaries received from both Jews and Gentiles alike, Paul and Barnabas rebuked the skeptics with the truth about their divinely appointed mission to preach the gospel and convert the lost, so that anyone who believes in the risen Christ will be saved from the wages of sin and inherit a place in the kingdom of Heaven, along side Yahweh, the only true God.
While the first to hear this message were to be Jews, God’s chosen race, Paul and Barnabas reveal the Father’s plan for all men and woman to be judged according to each one’s faith, that no one’s salvation was based on works, or deeds.
“48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.” (Acts 13:48-49)
When God’s plan was revealed to the Gentiles, that they too were included in His plan for salvation, they rejoiced and gave glory to the King of kings as each new believer engaged in making a public profession of their faith in the resurrected Christ and Savior.
“50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:50-52)
Because they felt threatened, and chose not to believe the truth preached by Paul and Barnabas, the city’s Jewish leaders approached influential Gentile women and their husbands in Antioch calling on them to go on the offensive against the missionaries and attempt to silence and expel them from the city.
Both Paul and Barnabas fulfilled scripture by shaking the dust from their sandals, as called upon by the Lord Himself who instructed missionaries to do so, when leaving the home of anyone who chose not to believe the gospel. From Antioch, the missionaries traveled to Iconium, a city in Lycaonia, about fifty miles to the east where they would continue their missionary journey to preach the gospel and lead the lost to Christ. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre