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.”
Saul’s adventure continued in Acts 9:26-30. After leaving Damascus, he went to Jerusalem in an attempt to meet “the disciples.” This would have included the apostles, who we were told earlier had remained in Jerusalem. Apparently there were other Christians as well, despite the wave of persecution which had scattered them somewhat earlier.
It should come as no surprise that the disciples were afraid to meet up with Saul. He was definitely a known quantity in Jerusalem. However, Barnabas, notably not one of the Twelve, did meet with Saul. It must have been a cautious meeting. Barnabas was convinced of Saul’s conversion. Saul had engaged in Christian work in Damascus. He had begun suffering for his faith, even though he could have sought protection and shelter by denying Christ.
Barnabas eventually introduced Saul to the other Christians. We see that they realized he was in danger. There were attempts to arrest him. This is not acceptable. Then, as now, Christians would try to protect those who are confessing Christ from persecution. They did this by finding a way for Saul to return to Tarsus, his home city. They may have considered that he would be safe there. In any case, he departs from Jerusalem. He is now known in both Damascus and Jerusalem as a Christian who could persuade others that Jesus was the Lord. He is known to the apostles and he knows them.
The connections we form as Christians go far beyond our immediate circumstances. They often arise in different times and in different places as we find ourselves in need or in a position to help others. While some would criticize the idea of an “old boy network” and all the favoritism it can generate, there is also something to be said for a group of loyal friends who will help one another in times of need. The fellowship Christians have in their Savior should motivate them to care for one another, as well as for those who are not Christians.
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.