Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday Paul 2.6

... continued from last week
But it was not long before Paul became frustrated at Tarsus. For one thing, he believed Jesus could come back any day. And so many Jews had not heard the good news. How would they hear unless someone preached to them? There was the whole region of Cappadocia to the north and Pontus north of it. There was Galatia and Lycaonia to the west. Paul increasingly sensed that God was calling him to be an ambassador of Christ to the inhabited world.

So after he felt that a core of believers was established in the church in his mother's house, he headed north. Cappadocia had only become an imperial province within Paul's own lifetime, but the renamed capital city of Caesarea had been there for a couple centuries. Paul spent several months there, meeting in the synagogue, working with leather in the marketplace. He shared the news about Jesus' return with anyone who would listen to him.

In what would become the pattern of his mission, he was finally kicked out of the synagogue at Caesarea of Cappadocia. He began to branch out into the villages of the province. During the week he would work in the marketplace of Caesarea but on the Sabbath he would visit villages in the area. In many places one or two Jews would believe, but not the numbers he had hoped.

After Cappadocia he went north to Pontus, spending several months in both Amasia in the interior and Sinope toward the coast of the Black Sea. He followed the same pattern. He first preached in the main synagogue. Then after they kicked him out, he would go from Sabbath to Sabbath through the main villages of the country.

Eight years later, he had little to show for it. There were some house churches scattered throughout Cilicia, Cappadocia, and Pontus, but not much for the time Paul had spent. He was frankly discouraged when he came back to Tarsus near the end of that time. He began to devote more and more time to prayer seeking God's will. What did God want him to do next?

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