Daily Word

Persecution: par for the course | Acts 13:42-52

42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.

44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews[d] saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
    that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 13:42-52 (ESV) 中文

First Missionary Journey

Paul and Barnabas are on the first missionary journey of the church, sent out by the church at Antioch; but ultimately sent out by the Holy Spirit. They’re now in Perga. Paul is asked to teach from the scriptures that were shared in the synagogue service (church). First he taught history then switched to preaching Jesus as Messiah using OT proof and an altar call.

Response of the church

After his teaching and preaching and altar call, many were excited to hear more. God had been preparing their hearts for Paul’s message and they responded. But the jealous Jews opposed them – almost like the magician Bar-Jesus (Acts 13:4-12) whom Paul rebuked and the Lord blinded. These Jews had blinded themselves. But that didn’t stop “as many as were appointed to eternal life believed (v48).”

As a result, Paul turned his attention to the Gentiles. “Paul almost always preached the gospel to the Jews “first” in the towns that he visited (cf. 13:50-51; 14:2-6; 17:5, 13-15; 18:6; 19:8-9; 28:23-28; Rom. 1:16). The Jews’ rejection of the gospel led him to offer it next ‘to the Gentiles.’” (planobiblechapel.org)

Persecution – par for the course

Persecution is becoming par for the course for Paul. And it won’t let up, but gets worse. Each place he goes he boldly proclaims the truth. Some are excited and believe unto salvation – like today. Some, who are opposed to the truth, vehemently oppose Paul and persecute him – often seeking to kill him. But it never stops Paul. Sometimes he even returns to the same city he was persecuted in. Most times he moves onto the next stop, as here.


  • “When you want to tell others about Jesus, begin with your own group. But if they don’t receive it, or when they start to reject it, don’t stop telling others about Jesus.” (enduringword.com) Find others and share it with them. Be certain to pray and trust God for the results.
  • Other than gospel sharing, how do you respond to opposition to the work God has called you to do and prepared in advance (Ephesians 2:10)? Don’t give up. Confirm the call and press on. God will open another way to accomplish His will. Our role is to faithfully follow.
Sri Lanka church attack. Image from newsweek.com *

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