PAUL AND BARNABAS IN FOREIGN LANDS 293
charge of the synagogue service sent word to them, "Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it." So Paul stood up and motioning with his hand said, "Listen, men of Israel and you who worship God. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers. While they were in Egypt he made them a great people, and then with wonderful signs of his power he led them out of that land. After destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them that land to have as their own and later made David their king. From David's family God brought to Israel, as he had promised, a Saviour, Jesus.
"Brothers, sons of Abraham's race, and all among you who worship God, to us has been sent this saving message. The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not believe Jesus, and though they could find no reason why he should be killed, they asked Pilate to put him to death. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had come with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to the people. So we bring you the good news that God, by raising Jesus from the dead, has fulfilled for our children the promise made to our fathers."
As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people begged that this be repeated to them on the following Sabbath. After the congregation broke up, many of the Jews and religious Greeks followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them, urging them through God's help to remain loyal.
On the next Sabbath nearly all the people of the city came to hear the message of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowd, they were jealous and began to contradict what Paul said, and to insult him. But Paul and Barnabas spoke out fearlessly and said, "It was necessary that God's message should be spoken first to you; but since you will not hear it and prove yourselves unworthy of eternal life, here and now we turn to those who are not Jews. For this is the Lord's command to us: 'I have set you as a light to other races, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'"
When those who were not Jews heard this, they were glad and gave thanks for God's message; and as many as were ordained to receive eternal life believed, and God's message was carried far and wide throughout the country. But the Jews, with the help of women of high rank and the leading men in the city, started a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them from the city. So the apostles shook the dust from their feet as a protest against them,