Paul and his companions, like Jesus, kept the Sabbath. They went to the synagogue where on invitation to give an exhortation, Paul spoke.
He reviewed God’s action in their history on behalf of a people whom God had chosen- from Egypt, through forty years of wilderness wanderings, the conquest of Canaan, the rule of the Judges to the monarchy, first with Saul and then with David as king.
God’s promise to David was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus, a Saviour brought to Israel, a Saviour whom they would not recognise, making their study of the prophets null and void. They condemned and rejected Jesus, the descendant of David and God’s choice for Saviour.
The message hit home because the people urged them to return the following sabbath day. Jews and proselytes to Judaism accepted their message.
Indeed, a mammoth crowd came expecting to hear the word of the Lord. But the status quo would have none of it. They rejected God’s message as it did not fit into what they wanted to believe.
Will we hold on to our misguided positions and not allow the Spirit to set us free to believe God’s message? The jealous ones said, ‘We like it so! Go. Jesus, go!’
Their rejection though, validated Paul’s decision to go to the Gentiles in the wider circle to whom he had been sent. “Go for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel. (Acts 9:15).
My every good though weak design,
Overrule, or change, as seems Thee meet;
Jesus, let all my work be Thine!
Thy work, O Lord, is all complete,
And pleasing in Thy Father’s sight;
Thou only hast done all things right.
Charles Wesley, 1707-88