Severe opposition did not stop Paul and Barnabas from continuing to preach the Word. “The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.” Some Jews rejected “the word of the Lord” which prompted Paul and Barnabas to speak boldly; “Since you thrust it aside (the word of God) and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we are turning to the Gentiles” (13:44, 46). As Paul pointed to this sad situation in Roman 11:15, 36, “Their rejection means the reconciliation of the world…to Him be glory forever.”
In this twist of events, a Gentile church is established by these itinerate preachers and left to stand on their own just after five months of discipling. We will see in chapter 14 that Paul and Barnabas returned about a year later and the church was still walking in the gospel they received. Make sure that we understand what these two men understood; God the Holy Spirit is the Helper, and Christ the Head are the Keepers of the church, not us. The proof of this is in the last verse of chapter 13; “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (13:52). Let’s make sure we do not limit what God will do by our limited expectations.
*Edwards, Gene, Revolutionary Bible Study, SeedSowers Publishing, 2009. Page 105.