When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; they disputed what Paul was saying and insulted him. But Paul and Barnabas spoke out even more boldly: ‘It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. But since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we will leave you and go to the Gentiles.’ (verses 45,46)
Read Acts 13:44-52
Before a new drug is made available to the public, it has to go through many processes. The background of the chemicals involved has to be researched, the effect of the drug on the human body must be studied, and only after extensive testing over a period of time can the drug be declared safe for consumption.
Christianity was a new faith. It had its foundations in the Jewish religion. Jesus’ disciples claimed that Jesus was the Saviour the Jews had waited for for centuries. And the Jews were used to testing new ‘saviours’. So where did the process go so wrong?
Christ’s background was impeccable. The effect he had on people’s lives was positive and liberating. No longer would the Jews be weighed down with the burden of obeying laws. They could be free to be forgiven. Yet the Jews rejected the proof in front of them, and so Paul and Barnabas took the good news to the Gentiles.
You have the same faith offered to you. It has now been road-tested with great results for two thousand years. Accept it and thrive.
Lord, I want eternal life with you. Help me to hear your word and believe. Amen.
by Kathy Hoopmann, in ‘Guidance for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2002)
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