Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. The whole church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria now enjoyed a period of peace. It became established and as it went forward in reverence for the Lord and in the strengthening presence of the Holy Spirit, continued to grow in numbers. (Acts 9:28-31)
Paul could’ve been a Hellenistic Jew. There were many in his hometown of Tarsus. In an eleven-year military crusade beginning in 334 B.C., Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, taking control of land from Greece to India. Alexander studied under Aristotle, so Greek culture spread throughout the area. According to Wikipedia, when Alexander moved across Tarsus with his army in 333 B.C., Tarsus had already been influenced by the Greek language and culture.
Saul loved God. Before he met Jesus on the Road to Damascus, his passion was to promote Judaism and keep Jewish law. He wasn’t caught up in Greek culture and materialism like the Hellenistic Jews. He felt guilty that he encouraged the Hellenistic Jews to stone Stephen, and when he returned to Jerusalem, he immediately continued Stephen’s work of preaching to them that Jesus was the Messiah. Saul and Stephen had similar visions of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, and if the disciples hadn’t removed him from Jerusalem, Saul likely would’ve experienced the same death as Stephen.
For Saul to become Apostle Paul, God needed him to be less bold and more gentle and patient because the Holy Spirit works best in us when there’s peace. God arranged the circumstances for Saul to return to his hometown of Tarsus. God leaves us at home until we become more gentle and patient. When we practice those two behaviors, God will send us out into the field to help others.
Dearest Father in Heaven, I praise you for changing me. Help me become gentler and more patient, so others will know I’m yours. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.
2 thoughts on “Daily Devotional Acts 9:28-31 – When does God call me to the mission field? – Free Online Bible Study – Commentary in easy English – Day 530”
I am sitting on the back deck this morning and enjoying nature as I read and think. The Hummingbirds are fighting over the feeder. One little guy is being very territorial! Why would the one bird want to keep the feeder all to himself and not share? We all share the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I have looked at TV to see the different preachers on Sunday morning. They all have different personalities. Some are soft spoken and others are pretty bold. I would imagine it was the same with the disciples, they all preached differently. I guess what appeals to one audience may not appeal to another.
The style of preaching that usually works is just being yourself. We all need to be true to the people that God made us because we all have a different purpose and will appeal to different audiences. I had a great nature morning myself. Nine egrets were being led by a bird that otherwise looked like an egret, but he was black. They were playing with three black birds of a different species. Then I saw two turkeys that looked to be about fifty pounds each. I am praising God on my morning walks for blessing us with the beauty of nature. Love and blessings, Jody