Apostolic Band

Forest (1)

In the early years, the band sought to visit all the Jewish synagogues scattered throughout the Roman Empire, beginning in Asia Minor.  Since the gospel was to the Jew first, this was natural.  Paul was deeply committed to this.

Should the Jewish synagogue community in any one place largely reject his message, he would then turn his attention to the Jews and Gentiles in its midst who had responded —

 Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles. 47 For the Lord gave us this command when he said, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.’” – Acts 13:46-47

This initial outreach to Jews and Gentiles was not “mission” in the modern sense of the term.  Mission implies reaching those without faith in God.  In contrast the Jews already possessed —

They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.     Romans 9:4-5

The apostle Paul shared the good news of the coming of their Messiah, and the significance of His cross and resurrection.  Whenever Jews rejected this gospel, he sought to —

Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. For I want somehow to make the people of Israel jealous of what you Gentiles have, so I might save some of them.             Romans 11:11,14

God had unfinished business to complete with His ancient people.

We must keep in mind that the first century of the Christian Era was par excellence the great century of Jewish missionary activity.  The most Greek “God-fearers,” although attracted by Jewish moral strength, intellectual vigor, disciplined living, and wholesome family life, generally stopped short of receiving circumcision and becoming Jews.

When Luke wrote —

 This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord. – Acts 19:10

— he probably meant that the band’s outreach extended throughout Asia, the southwestern part of present day Turkey and that the new congregations of fulfilled Jews and redeemed Greeks were together involved in preaching the new faith.




Five Lessons from Paul’s Apostolic Band


Paul’s Apostolic Principles and Practices



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