The cities change but the message never changes. It is the good news that all of our sins are forgiven through the sacrificial death of Jesus.
Timex watches had a slogan, “takes a licking and keeps on ticking”. They were tough. The energizer bunny uses the power within his batteries to outlast the competition. Paul and his companion appear here as both Timex tough and energizer empowered.
Jews and Gentiles (we are all one or the other) all have the same gift from God. Jesus is the savior for everyone, for every one. Jesus is the savior for every Jew. Jesus is also the savior for every gentile.
This chapter is encouraging to me, not just because a great number believed in every town they went, and not just because miracles followed them, but because they just kept on going.
“8 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.”
Not just that but also because not everyone accepted the good news, in fact Paul was stoned and left for dead by a crowd who opposed the message of good news.
“19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.”
They just kept preaching. I sometimes determine whether or not I’m doing the will of God with the opposition test. No opposition to little opposition means I am in Gods will, opposition means try something else but that isn’t what we see here. When opposition came they changed locations but not vocations and message stays the same. Jesus came to save sinners.
“21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a] for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.”
I don’t think that God is asking me to travel and share his message for a vocation. I think God is saying through this text that the opposition test is not a valid test.
Share the good news everywhere I go and don’t be deterred by opposition.
That’s what I’m hearing. What are you hearing?
(Originally posted 10/18/15)