The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Having been set apart in prayer and by the laying on of hands, Paul and Barnabas take a journey. Their actual goal is not made clear in the text of Acts. However, as they go, the Lord gives them meaningful encounters.
In Acts 13:4-8, they not only seek to bring the Gospel to people in the synagogues, they also speak with one Sergius Paulus. He wishes to hear the Gospel, though there are detractors surrounding him. Specifically, Elymas, a magician, does not wish the Gospel to be made plain.
We notice here that Paul and Barnabas had a plan. They would visit synagogues and try to explain the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit apparently had another plan for them. The person who wanted to hear the Gospel was not from the synagogue. He was a pagan.
The bottom line in this passage is that God uses his servants, either according to their plans or in some other way, to speak his words of redemption to exactly the people who need those words. As with Paul and Barnabas, so with you and me. The Lord uses his people.
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