Blessing and Conflict at Antioch

So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us:

‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified 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 throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. — Acts 13:42-52.

After the synagogue meeting, the Gentiles beg Paul to preach to them on the next Sabbath. There are believers among the many Jews and Jewish proselytes. Paul and Barnabas urge them to continue in the grace of God. The earnestness of their enquiry spreads to the city. Nearly everyone comes to hear God’s word on the next Sabbath. This, of course, means that many Gentiles are there as well as enquiring Jews.

Envious Jews contradict and blaspheme in opposing Paul.

Paul and Barnabas boldly tell the Jews that, if they reject God’s word, from now on they will concentrate on preaching to the Gentiles, in fulfilment of the Scripture. The Gentiles are glad and glorify God as a result. Many believe and God’s word spreads through the region. God demonstrates that enquiring Jews and repentant Gentiles are all blessed through the same gospel.

The leading men and women are stirred up by the Jews to persecute and expel Paul and Barnabas, who continue on their missionary journey to Iconium.

The disciples of the Lord Jesus are filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Those dedicated to Christ and to His message will always know His joy, presence, and power. [Source: Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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