Friday, July 17, 2009

Acts 13:13-25

As Paul and Barnabas strike out to proclaim the good new of Jesus, the scriptures say that they were filled with the Holy Spirit. I have to assume, therefore, that their very words were carefully crafted or at the very least, they came from the Holy Spirit. One of the things that strikes me about today's passage is that the very words that Paul spoke must have been iconoclastic to say the least.

The Jews had all heard the stories of their people and their prophets for hundreds of years. But, Paul was telling them to look at that history a different way. In his mind, the whole story had changed because Jesus, the very Messiah that their history had prepared them for, had come. You could no longer just go through the regular steps of life taken every day and look at things the same way. Jesus changed everything.

At the same time, Paul could not throw out the history of the Jewish people. It was his mission to get get them to dedicate their lives to Christ and that would not happen if he could not gain their trust. Besides, the history of the Jewish people was God's history. He knew what he was doing all along and he meant for that history to be used to further His kingdom.

So, here was Paul, newly converted, using a history he knew all so well as a Pharisee to tell a story that would lead folks to Christ. That's a pretty tall order. Unless, of course, you have the Holy Spirit on your side.

That's the point. We all need to rewrite our stories. Once you have Jesus in your life you are meant to start new. But, look at the tools you have - you have the trinity to get you where you are meant to be. And we know where those tools got Paul - yes he sacrificed his life, but he brought thousands to the Lord and built a church before earning the ultimate prize - everlasting life.

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