SINCE YOU REJECT THE WORD OF GOD
(Scripture Reflection Acts 13:46)
" Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "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."
Paul’s words today give us food for thought about the reaction of the Jews if only we can get past a couple of ambiguities. First, Paul sounds as if he had decided that he would no longer preach to any Jews (Focus). What he actually meant was that he was not going to preach to the Jews of Antioch. The verses following make this clear. Throughout his missionary journeys, Paul continued to preach to both Jews and non-Jews and, in both groups, some accepted his message while others did not. A second doubt concerns what ‘the Jews’ in this passage means for us. We might write off people as ‘enemies of Christ’ if we feel they do not conform to Christian values but, in so doing, do we miss out on a valuable lesson God wants to teach us?
Through Paul, God sent these Jews a message of salvation which they found hard to accept. Perhaps it required a change in their lives which they were not willing to make. Sadly, they decided not to embrace the salvation Paul was offering.
God uses different means, persons and events to speak to us in our journey towards him. It requires humility and an open heart to receive his word.
Fruit: Have I shut my ears to what a parent, teacher, priest or even a stranger has told me just because it was uncomfortable?