A Light for the Gentiles

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.

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.

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.’”

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. Acts 13:42-48

Petty leaders tried to ruin the message for Paul and Barnabas. Why were they jealous? Perhaps more people were attending the lectures that Paul and Barnabas gave, and many of them went to synagogues on the Sabbath but weren’t getting fed like they needed. It’s hard to know exactly why they were jealous.

Paul and Barnabas rebuked the leaders for stirring up trouble.The leaders rejected the Gospel message at every turn and were hoping to disrupt the learning experience of others. They wanted others to be as miserable as they were.

If people are not interested in the truth, God doesn’t cajole or badger someone. He moves on to others who are more accepting. But it doesn’t mean He’ll give up on that person. No, since God can do billions of things at the same time, we can trust Him to work in the hearts of those who are on our hearts.

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