That message still rings true for all of us today. We are all called to be Christ like; we are to be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth. And as we read in our first reading for this morning, it won’t always be easy…
On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.”
The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
A couple of points made here – that tie directly in with the Gospel. Let’s start with the message from the Gospel…
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.
The word of God has been spoken to us – will I accept it or reject it – it’s my choice to do so. My fear is if I reject it, that Christ will shake “the dust” from His feet and leave me behind – much like what happened to the Jews of Pisidia when they rejected the good news God presented to them. Do I really want to be left in the dust? No, I do not. With that in mind, I must live my life according to the way Jesus led His because He is the Way, He is the Truth, He is the Light.
I send the same message to you this morning that Paul and Barnabas spoke to the Gentiles in Pisidia.
“My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”
Jesus died for us on the Cross – for forgiveness of my sins and yours. He descended to the dead and on the third day, rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. Jesus has conquered death and lives for us today.
Do something great for our Lord today – spread the word that Jesus lives. Praise God.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.