Being a Christian

With the conversion of Cornelius the dynamic of first century evangelism changed. No longer was the good news of Jesus directed only to Jews, but Gentiles were also taught. The result was that “a great number who believed turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:19 NET).

The centre of this explosion of new followers of Jesus was in Antioch. Antioch was the third largest city of the Roman Empire at this time, with a population of over 500,000 people. Included in this number was a large number of Jews – it has been estimated by some that around 1/7 of the population was Jewish. Continue reading “Being a Christian”

Telling others about Jesus

Barnabas and Saul were selected by the Holy Spirit for a particular work. Saul had now been a Christian for just over ten years and had proven himself to be useful. Barnabas had brought Saul to Antioch a few years earlier to help him teach others about Jesus.

When we look at the order of the names of those listed as prophets and teachers in Antioch (Acts 13:1) it might be surprising to us that Saul is listed last. Perhaps due to his background as one who persecuted Christians, he did not have the same respect as the other teachers. If this was the case, those in Antioch were probably surprised when it was Saul who was selected along with Barnabas for this particular work. Continue reading “Telling others about Jesus”