Acts 18:1 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together—by trade they were tentmakers. 4 Every sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus. 6 When they opposed and reviled him, in protest he shook the dust from his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
The apostle Paul had originally sought out the Jewish community in whatever city or town he was in and taught about Jesus. It’s clear in this passage Paul is tired of other Jewish leaders and teachers opposing his message, so he ends with “From now on I will go to the Gentiles”. Two things come to mind about this.
First, Paul clearly expected he would be an apostle to fellow Jews, but it didn’t quite work out. Some followed him, but others opposed him – vigorously. By contrast he had much more success, and much less opposition, from the Gentile peoples he met. So, taking this as a sign from the Lord, Paul adjusted his tactics to focus on Gentiles. As disciples of Jesus we have to follow where the Lord provides spiritual fruit.
Second, Paul uses his gifts for rhetoric and debate as a primary means of sharing the gospel. He was a Pharisee trained by the famous teacher Gamaliel so it makes sense. However the apostle Peter, a relatively uneducated fisherman, used miraculous healing as a key to his evangelism strategy. This tells me that different people are gifted differently by the Holy Spirit and so will have different approaches to living out the faith.
I’m probably more like Paul in that I naturally tend to be more verbal. What about you? How can the Lord use your particular gifting and skill-set to share the good news of Jesus Christ?
One thought on “Going where the fruit is…”
I don’t have an issue being verbal, but I like to know that I’m being received.
I don’t perform miracles (that I know of), so I can’t say that I follow in Peter’s footsteps.