Paul and Barnabas spoke boldly of Jesus to everyone they encountered. It is because of their great faith that they even went right into the heart of belly of the Jews. Where they spent their time in the synagogues, there they went also. This they did to declare to them the good news of Christ. Their testimony of the Lord Jesus was so strong that the Holy Spirit came upon the people that were present and 1“a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.” And to think what would have happened if they had never done this. It would have been more convenient to stay away from the controversy, lest they would be stoned to death, but this did not matter to them. All that mattered was that everyone came to know about Jesus Christ for salvation. And Praise the Lord for the work that they were able to accomplish through God and the Holy Spirit, for Jews and Greeks did come to faith. What is sad is that Satan always tries to stir things up when it comes to God and His ways. And that is what happened here. After these brethren had finished speaking, 1“the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.” The Devil never wants people to continue in their belief. Therefore, he uses people like these Jews to stir up controversy and unbelief. When it comes to God, there is always going to be forces of darkness against every person that proclaims Jesus and His gospel.
When it comes to being a witness for Christ, the disciples of Jesus knew what this meant. For them that believed, It meant following Him and proclaiming His gospel message, although persecution may rise up against them. For other disciples of Jesus had already lost their lives because of their faith. Knowing this, the disciples were not affected at all. Therefore, they continued 1“speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” It was the love of Jesus that carried them through hard times and bearing witness of Him was what sustained them. Therefore, the Lord God worked through them and gave them boldness to proclaim the good news of the gospel and to perform miracles. Now, as mentioned before, not everybody will appreciate this type of message of love. This is why the people were divided in their beliefs. And in their anger of the unbelievers, all they could think of was to stop them by throwing stones at them. So Paul and Barnabas fled into another city. 1“There they preached the gospel.” They did not give up hope in Jesus and the salvation of the lost. If you are a believer in Christ, continue to believe and bear witness of Christ. Don’t worry about those that are not interested. Just allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to those that are ready. In doing this, you will be given the same boldness as these two apostles had. Be a light for Christ, to everyone around you.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that more people will live out their faith and be a witness for You. There are so few people that I meet that have a heart to follow You and to evangelize. I wish I could instill in their hearts a sense of urgency to proclaim Your gospel to the world, but I know that only the Holy Spirit can convict people’s hearts. It really is amazing to read Your Words and see the early disciples truly follow You no matter what the circumstances. They were willing to declare Your great Name, even if it meant persecution and death. It was better for them that people were saved then to die in their sins. This is the desire that I wish more people would have, Lord. It seems that only few people truly want to live a life in Your service. Most people would rather live their own lives then to follow in Your ways and be led by Your hand. This truly worries me Lord. I am afraid that people think that they are saved simply by saying they believe, when truly their heart is not in it. These people, if they were to humbly look at themselves, they would see that You are not the king of their lives. I do not wish these people to die and be confused as to why they are not saved, instead I pray for revival in their hearts. I know one thing Lord and that is, that true faith is to also do Your will. We can’t have one foot in and another foot in the world. May every Christian come to know this. Maybe then will they desire to follow You and do whatever You have for their lives, no matter what. Even if it means being a witness for You in this fallen world. This I pray, in Your holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Acts 14:1-7 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel.