torsdag 14. juli 2016


It is very interesting to observe what the first Christians did when they met resistance. The people of Antioch wanted to hear more of the message Paul had to share, and when “almost the whole” city came to meeting the following Sabbath, it became too much to bear for the Jewish leaders, so when blasphemed and opposed Paul, he answered:
“We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

Acts 13:46-47
It would an extreme simplifiaction to say that the first Christians’ strategy was to turn away from opposition and resistance. All the suffering and persecution they had to endure prove the opposite. At the same time there is several events which support that they went to places where people were more receptive to the gospel. When the Jews refused, they turned to the Gentiles. When the synagoges were closed for them, they turned to other arenas, like e.g. the school of Tyrannus (1).

I have received the advice, and given it to others: “Use your strength where you see that it works!” In that way you also nurish the faith. It was also was Jesus told the disciples to do when he first sent them out: If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet (2). And – that was just what Paul and Barnabas did before they left Antioch. 

But it is important to be led by the Spirit when you chose this strategy. I have not done a lot of fishing, but sufficient to know that a fish who has gone for the bate and feels the hook, gives a lot of resistance. I would not let go of the rod in such a situation, to run to find a new opportunity.

‘Manna’ for today:

I need wisdom to decern when resistance is a good sign!
(1) Acts 19:9
(2) Matt 10:14

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