Stirring Up Hate
When Mary and I moved to Midlothian to teach a home Bible study and then to help give birth to a new church family, the religious leaders in the community, prominent influential women, and the city and public school leadership welcomed us.
I do remember a lady who thought we were starting some cult group not being too happy. She worked at the Post Office and refused to even look me in the eye when I purchased stamps. Soon, however, she learned more about MBC and became a good friend. This receptivity in the city fleshed out to forty years of ministry at Midlothian Bible and Mary and I continue to live here. But all this positive reception in a city is not always the case.
When the message of Jesus spread all over the area around Antioch of Pisidia (an area now part of modern Turkey), a combination of jealous religious leaders, influential women, and the Gentile political leaders combined together to stir things up against Paul and Barnabas. Here are both the positive and the negative results:
“Now the Word of the Lord spread throughout the entire region. But the Jewish leaders in Antioch stirred up the devout religious women, women holding prominent positions of influence. These women then stirred up the leading Gentile men and persecution broke out against Paul and Barnabas. They expelled them from their region.
But Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet and came to Iconium (ninety miles southeast of Antioch). And the followers of Jesus were being filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:49-52
Paul and Barnabas did turn away from the unresponsive Jews in Pisidian Antioch when the town fathers and mothers turned against them, but they didn’t stop telling others, including Jews, that Jesus is the Messiah and the Savior.
Jews for Jesus continues to reach out to Jews with this good news. Go to their web site at www.jewsforJesus and learn how they are reaching out in Tel Aviv through the Moishe Rosen Center.
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