Big thank you to Hannah for the notes this week. Some of the passages have not been easy (particularly the one about Herod being eaten by worms!) but they have been a blessing to me and I’m sure to many others.
We see the reaction to yesterday’s sermon from Paul in today’s passage. You can read it here.
It’s the last day from me today, thanks so much for sticking with me. I hope you’ve been blessed by the passages too.
So, news has spread about the sermon from the previous week and the synagogue is packed to the rafters! It looks like people would like to learn more about Jesus. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page. The religious leaders are, yet again, the villains in this passage. It looks like they’re not big fans of the good news being preached. My inkling is that they’re losing control of the people and they don’t like it.
The most painful part for them would have been that the gentiles were included. They felt that they were superior to the gentiles and the fact that Paul included them in his ministry would have been as though he was opening the floodgates. It would have been offensive to them. Their response to Paul and Barnabas teaching the gospel is to blaspheme and abuse them. They were most likely blasphemous against Jesus. To them, the inclusion of the gentiles was a deal breaker.
The thing is, when we begin our relationship with Jesus it affects our relationships with other people. It makes us want to reconcile with people, forgive people, and include people. It makes us want to be more like Jesus. The salvation of Jesus and the clear messages from God had convicted the apostles to preach to gentiles. It was time for the Jews and gentiles to reconcile and the religious leaders apparently were not ready for that. Sometimes, we want to isolate Jesus’ impact, we want to keep it in one area, keep things “clean”. The reality is that it should take over everything we are and affect everything we do. Sometimes it’s painful to forgive people or to reconcile with people but it’s also sometimes necessary in our walk with God. Not an easy pill to swallow, but something we probably all need to dwell on.
The bible says that God remembers our sin no more, he treads them underfoot and hurls our iniquities into the sea. He has removed our transgressions from us. We are challenged to do the same for others.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)