... continued from last week
Thus began Paul's eight years in Cilicia, the region where his home city of Tarsus was located. By this time, his father was dead. His father would have never accepted Paul back into his home after the disgrace he had brought his family in Jerusalem.
His mother was more tolerant of her only son, her second oldest child. She was glad to have him back home for a time, hoping that he would continue his father's business.
But Paul was only interested in sharing the good news that the Christ had come, and he wanted to share it with as many people as possible. He only made it two months in his home synagogue before it was clear he was unwelcome. They tolerated him far longer than they would have if he had not been his father's son.
Nevertheless, a few did believe, and his mother let his group assemble for a time in their house. On Sunday mornings, they met before dawn to read Scripture and praise God for raising Jesus from the dead. They would call on Jesus to return quickly from heaven, "Marana tha!" "Our Lord, come!"
Then on Thursday nights they would get together to eat a meal in honor of Jesus' last supper. They broke bread together and anticipated that they would soon break bread with Jesus himself in the kingdom. After supper they would pass a cup of wine and remember that Jesus would return and his people would flock from north, south, east, and west to drink the cup with him in the kingdom of God.
Paul began to use his family business as a way to share the good news. Of course his first interest was Jews back in those days. But even then, he was increasingly surprised at how many Gentile God-fearers were attracted to Jesus...