Psych Exam 2 (Intelligence, Language) Exam Practice Q…
I believe that God was not punishing or even chastising the believers in Jerusalem. He was not upset with them for not moving beyond Jerusalem. Recall that the Great Commission (with the specific geographic order) had been spoken directly to the apostles on the occasion of Christ’s ascension. Note here that these same men did not flee Jerusalem, but remained there apparently under God’s good pleasure and protection. On the other hand, the High Council in Jerusalem had made it clear that they would not repent of murdering their Messiah, having now also murdered one of His prominent followers. God would thus begin speaking to the very people outside Jerusalem that He had identified in the Great Commission, and in the same order — as described precisely by Luke in these verses. But is this God turning to the Gentiles? And if so, is it part of Israel’s expected Millennial Kingdom, or part of the mysterious hidden Age of Grace to follow? Or is it all one age of the church with no difference in programs at all?
Moniza Alvi and Grace Nichols' Feelings of Living in England ..
14:3 — “Therefore” (pay attention!) Paul and Barnabas spent a long time in Iconium. Why? Because of the faith of those who had believed, and because of the opposition of those who had not. The remainder of the verse indicates that it was God who enabled them to remain and speak boldly by certifying their message of grace with miracles. Remember, Paul and Barnabas start among the Jews of each new community. And Jews require a sign! Paul and Barnabas at this time in their ministry are performing miracles in the same manner as Peter and John, and for the same purpose. Many years later Paul would explain the passing of the need for miraculous signs in his prison letters, but for now they were very necessary. The important thing in this verse to understand is not that they performed miracles, but that God extended their time in Iconium by doing so.
Luke doesn’t tell us what brought Apollos to Ephesus where Priscilla and Aquila remained. But Apollos did speak boldly in the synagogue in Ephesus, where they heard his presentation. Were Priscilla and Aquila regular attenders of the synagogue as well as “grace believers” involved in what we know as the Ephesian church today? Perhaps — they were after all Jews, and perhaps they could continue to hold out the gospel in that environment when Paul was unable to. Or perhaps they received word of this fellow Apollos and specifically went there to hear him. Luke doesn’t distinguish for us, and we must remember that Paul himself continued to have a tremendous burden for his kinsmen and continued to begin in each new community in the synagogue. The fact that Priscilla and Aquila went to the synagogue (whether deliberately to hear Apollos or not) does not deny the distinctions of Paul’s message. In fact, the very next verse demonstrates that they knew the distinctions very well.