Voices Together

Acts 13:36-46

"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:'BEHOLD, YOU DESPISERS, MARVEL AND PERISH! FOR I WORK A WORK IN YOUR DAYS, A WORK WHICH YOU WILL BY NO MEANS BELIEVE, THOUGH ONE WERE TO DECLARE IT TO YOU.' “ So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.

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. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 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.

The “all things” point in this passage is that the work of Christ on the cross was and is complete in a way that invalidated all the saving power of the Mosaic Law. In someways, it is no wonder that the devote Jews in Antioch exploded. They were caught between the Rock and denying a thousand years of history and tradition. The latter was indeed a Hard Place.

Paul and Barnabas preached a clear and unequivocal Gospel: the Mosaic Law was incomplete and insufficient, the work of Christ on the cross was complete and sufficient, it was time to extend the Gift to the Gentiles.

They could have debated the sufficiency of the “all things” until blue in the face, as I am often tricked by Satan into doing. No, they immediately turned to a fertile and hungry audience.

Readings:

Morning Psalm 105, Noon Psalm 119:121-128, Evening Psalm 56

John Nunnikhoven

John Nunnikhoven is a member of The Fellowship of Ailbe and has begun working toward what, Lord willing, will become a re-awakening of the Church as a body directed into living the Kingdom in the here and now as it awaits the yet to come.
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