We often hurry over verses (I have) and fail to take time to understand their importance. As Luke names the “prophets and teachers” at Antioch, he includes one called “Manaen a life-long friend (foster brother) of Herod the tetrarch, and (friend) of Saul” (Acts 13:1). How different was the life of Herod who lived in debauchery and hatred for Christ and His people, and this foster brother Manaen who became a devoted follower of Jesus and leader in the church. When Luke says that he was a friend of Saul, it makes me wonder what influence Saul had on him. Before Saul’s conversion, he mingled among the rulers of the Jews and no doubt had affiliations with the Roman court. Did Saul know Manaen before his conversion and went back to him to explain what God had done on the Damascus road?
What influence have we had on individuals who may have gone a very different direction were it not that God placed them in our path? This relative of Herod became an effective leader in Antioch who listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit (see verse2) so that Barnabas and Saul could be set apart for His work. God makes the “people connections”. It is our responsibility to be ready for them so our mission work is effective.
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