Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:
“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance.
Comment: The ‘Antioch’ mentioned here was not the one from which Paul and Barnabas were commissioned to make this trip. Paul still makes it his practice to start by telling Jews of the Christ. There are some (foolishly, I think) who say that in this time since Jesus has come the Old Testament can be glossed over. That is very short-sighted and dangerous in my opinion. Why? Because the good news of Jesus dying for our sins to make peace with God and re-establish a right relationship between sinners and the Holy God, is firmly placed in time and space and is the fulfilment of all the Old Testament prophecies and promises of God. It is sad that we are prepared to encourage our young people to read very widely about their educational goals but we remain ignorami about the time/space history on which our faith is established. Believing in God is not a blind leap into the unknown but a trusting in the truth of God’s dealing with mankind.
Prayer: Help me to be studious and committed to knowing history as Your story, O God.