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2 posted on 04/26/2013 8:42:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
From: Acts 13:44-52

Paul and Barnabas Preaches to the Pagans
[44] The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered together to hear the Word
of God. [45] But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealou-
sy, and contradicted what was spoken by Paul, and reviled him. [46] And Paul
and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the Word of God
should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves
unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. [47] For so the Lord has
commanded us, saying, 'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you
may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.'"

[48] And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the Word of
God; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. [49] And the Word
of the Lord spread throughout all the region. [50] But the Jews incited the devout
women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecu-
tion against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. [51] But
they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and went to Iconium. [52]
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


45. The opposition of these Jews, who in their jealousy contradict what Paul
says, will from now be the typical attitude of the synagogue to the Gospel. It
emerges everywhere the Apostle goes, with the exception of Beroea (cf. 17:10-

46. Paul may have been hoping that Christianity would flourish on the soil of Ju-
daism, that the Jews would peacefully and religiously accept the Gospel as the
natural development of God's plans. His experience proved otherwise: he encoun-
tered the terrible mystery of the infidelity of most of the chosen people, his own

Even if Israel had been faithful to God's promises, it would still have been neces-
sary to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The evangelization of the pagan world
is not a consequence of Jewish rejection of the Word; it is required by the univer-
sal character of Christianity. To all men Christianity is the only channel of saving
grace; it perfects the Law of Moses and reaches out beyond the ethnic and geo-
graphical frontiers of Judaism.

47. Paul and Barnabas quote Isaiah 49:6 in support of their decision to preach to
the Gentiles. The Isaiah text referred to Christ, as Luke 3:32 confirms. But now
Paul and Barnabas apply it to themselves because the Messiah is "light for the
Gentiles" through the preaching of the Apostles, for they are conscious of spea-
king in Christ's name and on His authority. Therefore, probably here "the Lord"
refers not to God the Father but to Christ.

51. "They shook the dust from their feet": a traditional expression: the Jews re-
garded as unclean the dust of anywhere other than the holy land of Palestine.

Our Lord extended the meaning of the phrase when He told the disciples He was
sending them out to preach, "If any one will not receive you or listen to your words,
shake off the dust from your feet" (Matthew 10:14; cf. Luke 9:5). This gesture of
Paul and Barnabas echoes what Jesus said and amounted to "closing the case"
or putting on record the unbelief of the Jews.

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

3 posted on 04/26/2013 8:49:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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