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.”
In Acts 13:48-52 the leaders have turned against Paul and Barnabas. Despite their successful work among the Gentiles, the pressure from the Jewish leaders drove them out of town. The Gospel was spreading, but there was a great deal of opposition.
Regardless of our success or our failure, the message of Jesus may turn people against us. Some will be hostile. We can’t stop that. While we make every effort not to cause personal offense, offense will come.
Paul and Barnabas were no doubt hurt. It is hard to be rejected. It is very hard to be forced out of a city in the midst of that rejection. Missionaries who have had to leave their posts in fear for their life often spend years recovering from their feelings of failure. However, Paul and Barnabas wiped the dust from their feet on the way out of town. They consciously said that the rejection was of Jesus, not of them. They confessed that the rejection of eternal life was not because of their failure, but because people were rejecting the message.
For everyone involved in works of evangelism - let God be faithful and all rejection be a rejection of God’s word, not of the messenger. At the same time, as we experience opposition and rejection, may we learn from our experiences and seek to grow in our ability to show grace and charity in working with God’s Word.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.