In The Word
Read: Acts 13:44-52
Paul Turns to the Gentiles
44 The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord.45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. 46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us,
‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,
That You may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’”
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
While still in Antioch, Saul and Barnabas continued preaching. The second Sabbath they were there, nearly the entire town came to hear them. This greatly infuriated the Jews who continued their persecution against them.
Because the Jews were unable to accept the gospel of Christ, Saul then turned to the Gentiles. The Gentiles gladly accepted the gospel and actually planted the first Gentile church right there in Antioch. Because of envy, the Jews eventually expelled Saul and Barnabas from Antioch. Paul and Barnabas simply shook the dust off their feet and continued on to Iconium. They were expelled, but the Word they planted remained.
The Bible calls the Word of God a seed (Luke 8:11). If you have ever planted a seed, you will know that typically you will not see immediate fruit. It takes time, watering, and growing. That is what the Word of God does. Once it is planted in a person’s heart, whether you see the fruit or not, the seed is still there. This encourages us to share the gospel with every opportunity we have. It may seem like nothing has changed, but, remember, it is just a seed. When we leave, that Word will remain. We may never see the fruit of that seed, but that doesn’t mean it is not there. Imagine, if every believer planted a seed every day, how much fruit the church would be producing in the years to come!