Saturday, July 6, 2013

departure and proclamation

Good morning friends,
Our passage starts with a few travel details. I want to highlight one detail of that because it will be important later. Barnabas and Saul (Paul) did some of their journeys with a man named John also called Mark. He was with them in Jerusalem and in Salamis. In this reading, he goes his own way, back to Jerusalem. The passage doesn't say anything about why, nor does it mention any disagreement, but Paul and Barnabas will later have conflict in their own relationship centered on this moment.

The passage overall is a great snapshot from Paul's missionary work. He often started his work in a new town at the synagogue, because Christianity was a movement within Judaism. So in the synagogue, Paul knew he would find people who already knew God's story. Like we've seen with Stephen and other sermons in Acts, Paul starts the message about Jesus by reviewing the story of Israel and God. The more rooted we are in the whole story, the more each part, including the day to day decisions we make, make sense.

God bless,

Acts 13:13-25
13 Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem; 14but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15After the reading of the law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message, saying, ‘Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, give it.’ 16So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak:

‘You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. 17The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18For about forty years he put up with in the wilderness. 19After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance 20for about four hundred and fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. 21Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years.

22When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, “I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.” 23Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; 24before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25And as John was finishing his work, he said, “What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.”

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