Monday 22 May 2017

Bible Book:

“The Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” (v. 2)

Acts 13:1-12 Monday 22 May 2017

Psalm: Psalm 10:1-12


This passage illustrates very well for us how things began todevelop in the early Church. Those who followed Jesus had taken hiswords seriously - the gospel message was now being intentionallytaken out of its Jewish homeland into the world. And every step wastaken under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Today's passage speaks of prophets and teachers each havingslightly different roles. Prophets were not usually attached to aparticular group of believers but were, in Methodist terminology,itinerant. Teachers, on the other hand, exercised their role withintheir local congregation. The list of names in this passage showshow the gospel was already having an appeal beyond its Jewishheartland: Barnabas was a Jew, but from Cyprus; Lucius from Cyrenein North Africa; Simeon's alternative name, Niger, shows that hehad moved in Roman circles.

Saul (Paul) himself was from Tarsus in Cilicia, in modernTurkey. Despite all these differences in background and role, thisgroup of believers found their togetherness in Christ.

As this group sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit, peoplewere set aside for particular tasks. In this way, Barnabas and Saulbecame missionaries and set off for Cyprus where they met all thechallenges that every generation of pioneer missionaries have faced- suspicion, local cults and practices.

To Ponder

  • Is it your experience that the diverse community whichconstitutes the church where you are has a togetherness in Christwhich transcends all the differences? Or are there challenges?
  • We have read that Barnabas and Saul were 'set aside' for theirwork. To what extent should we take more seriously the 'settingaside' of people for a variety of roles within each localchurch?
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