Good News for all!
As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people urged them to speak about these things again the next sabbath. When the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,
‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles,
so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” ~ Acts 13:42-47
After the proconsul believes, Paul begins to preach and his ministry really begins to take off.
Exciting stuff. Paul, beginning with his tribe, wins many of them over. Jewish converts are the first Christians.
But then something happens.
The circle widens.
And "the other" is welcomed as well.
Can you think of a time in your life when good news was spread beyond the usual places and resentment stored up among the people who thought the good news was only for them?
Or a time in history?
Or in politics?
Or even in religion?
It didn't take long for the good news that seemed to be for the Jewish people to be spread. And while it seems perhaps that Paul's anger at the jealousy of these Jewish Christians is the trigger for this, Paul reminds us that all along God's intent is that the good news is not one group's to hold on to.
It is good news for everyone.
Lord, you have called me to be a light to your good news. Let me share that light with everyone I meet.