Acts 10 is most thought provoking. The message of the Gospel is spreading and the different reactions Paul and Barnabas experienced as they travelled are fascinating. What is also significant is the extent to which they quoted from the Old Testament, their Bible. This chapter contains no less than seven quotations from the Old Testament made in the speech at Antioch in Pisidia. The Old Testament is God’s word just as much as the New Testament.
Their initial preaching was to Jewish communities. They supported their message about Jesus with all these quotations from the Old Testament. Evidently the Jews, and sadly it is the same today, only read their Bible selectively, but God’s word must be read in totality.
“Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, ‘It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles’” (verse 46,47). There is some comparison in this in what has happened over the last 50 years. Belief in God has shrunk alarmingly in the developed world, when compared with other countries such as India and those Africa.
How many today are not taking the word of God seriously? Maybe they are taking it selectively to prove, for example, that they go to heaven when they die, or that grace is ever abounding so they do not have to strive against sin. If they are not taking God’s word seriously into their hearts, they are, to quote Paul and Barnabas, starting to “judge themselves unworthy of eternal life”.
Let us make sure we are among those who accept and obey the message and “begin rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord …” (verse 48).