Sunday, November 26, 2023

938. Gentiles No Longer Denied: "Revered Paul" to the Rescue

In Acts 13 and 14, after what may have been close to a decade after the resurrection, Paul was in the early days of his ministry of the gospel to Gentiles and also Jewish people. He and Barnabas connected in the region of Antioch for about a year, finally opening the message of salvation available to Gentiles found through faith in a risen Jesus.

But first they addressed Jews who gathered at the nearby synagogue on the weekly Sabbath to hear a customary reading of the law of Moses. Some received their gospel message, but just as many did not ... and the city became divided. Jews who were advocates for the old law didn't appreciate being told that only Jesus could bring them forgiveness and freedom—while the law never could.

This ... combined with Gentiles coming to faith in Christ ... led Paul's Jewish contradictors to stone him while in one particular city, and dragged him out of the town to be left for dead. This would just be Round 1. The bell would ring, and Paul would get up and head boldly back into the ring, undeterred by those who threw rocks while they were clinging to the stone tablets.

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