Week of July 8 - Day 3

Day 3 Read: Acts 14:19-28

But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. 24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.

Reflect: What evidence do we read in this passage about the missionaries’ commitment to their faith? What personal sacrifices was Paul willing to make on behalf of the gospel?

Consider: Elders (presbyteros). For the general superintendence of the church. The word is synonymous with overseers or bishops. Those who are called elders, in speaking of Jewish communities, are called bishops, in speaking of Gentile communities. Hence the latter term prevails in Paul’s epistles.[1]

Respond:  What are some circumstances that might tempt us to “quit” the Christian life? How are Paul and Barnabas an example to us when we feel like quitting?

 

[1] Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 523.