but when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of tyrannus. this continued for two years, so that all the residents of asia heard the word of the Lord, both jews and greeks. – [acts 19:9-10]
some became stubborn
this is a story that we are all familiar with. those who hear the truth of Christ, yet instead of softening their hearts to him, they ‘become stubborn’. it can be seen as a fulfillment of psalm 81:11-12, “but my people did not listen to my voice; israel would not submit to me. so i gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels”.
paul brought the gospel “to the jew first” but when they continued in stubbornness, he went “also to the greek” (romans 1:16).
there is a point when we have done all we can do in sharing our faith, and have to move on to others who will listen. but we never stop praying for the stubborn listeners and asking God to capture their hearts. Some of them are people we love dearly, and we continue speaking as God gives opportunity, and pray that, like with paul, he would reveal himself to them in a way that only he can.
all the residents of asia
when paul moved on to preach to the greeks, there was an explosion of faith, such that ‘all of asia’ heard the word of God! considering the roman road system that connected the cities of asia minor, and those who had heard, believed, and were now sharing the gospel, it is not surprising that this life-giving faith had spread so quickly!
it is our prayer that all the residents of our areas would ‘hear the word of the Lord’. not just an idea that there is probably a God, but the true gospel of Christ that can change hearts and lives forever. we can do our part by sharing with those around us of the peace, joy and strength that we have found in Jesus.
the world is desperately searching for fulfillment, and we know where it is found. Like paul, let us share boldly!
~ jason soroski