Sunday, April 29, 2012

Acts 13:44-47

Summary retelling of Acts 13:44-47

A week later, almost the whole city is gathered to hear Paul and Barnabas speak.  But when the Jewish leaders see the crowd that Paul and Barnabas gathered, they were filled with jealousy.  They begin to teach against Paul and Barnabas.  Paul and Barnabas tell the leaders that it was necessary to tell them about Jesus, but if the leaders decide to cast it aside then they will preach it to those who will listen – even the Gentiles.  Paul then talks about how God’s people are to be a light for the Gentiles.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
The whole city gathers to hear Paul and Barnabas.  Here is a city seeking truth!  If nothing else, here is a city that values learning!  People gather in order to expose themselves to new ideas and force themselves to think about life.  This is indeed a field ripe for the harvest!

Why is it important to seek out learning opportunities?  What things in life usually get in the way of our learning?

Second Thought:
Furthermore, think about how the whole city knew to gather in the first place.  Someone must have told them.  In fact, a bunch of people must have been excited!  Remember, they don’t have TV, radio, or even printing presses with which to advertise!  If the whole town showed up, it is because people were talking about what they were learning and excited about it.

How does this speak to us being excited about what we are learning in our faith and inviting people in?  How good are you at being excited about what you are learning and then trying to teach it to others?

Third Thought:
The Jewish leaders begin to refute Paul and Barnabas.  Jealousy rears its ugly head.  Competition ensues.  The spirit of excitement begins to be quenched.

Why do people feel the need to compete?  Why do people get jealous?  How can these things ruin God’s attempt to work within and through us?

Fourth Thought:
Paul and Barnabas have already warned the Jewish leaders in this town (remember yesterday’s reading?).  So Paul makes good on his promise and turns away from those who scoff at him.  Paul begins to teach those who are willing and is vocal about not teaching those who are unwilling to listen.

Is this a perspective you see much of in today’s church?  Do we tend to “focus on the spiritually seeking” or do we tend to focus on “making sure everyone is included?”

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 13:48-52
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