If we desire to tell people about Christ, we need to know and understand the stories of today and explain God's grace and love through them.
Reference: v.18 "…he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert…"
Explore: This may seem a fairly random verse to choose but that's probably nothing new for me! I wonder how many Christians, if they had not read the full passage above, would know what Paul was talking about. For those who have been studying the Bible for some time would probably be able to recall that the Israelites spend 40 years in the desert after escaping Egypt. When Paul was speaking in the Synagogue, he spoke like everyone there would understand what he was talking about, even though he didn't go into a lot of detail. The Israelite's history was very important to them and showed them the grace of God, therefore they knew this story that Paul was retelling very well.
Application: If I stood up in a group of my friends to tell them about God and started with this brief synopsis of Jewish history, it would mean very little to them. In fact, even if I stood up in church I may have to go into a bit more detail! Paul was very good at understanding the knowledge of the people and using it to explain that Jesus is the Messiah. I wonder what the knowledge of people today is. Now, I am the first person to say how important the Bible is and how essential it is for us to read it and learn from it. However the stories held within it are not known by our culture. They know different stories. If we desire to tell people about Christ, we need to know and understand the stories of today and explain God's grace and love through them. God is not limited to the pages of the Bible. He continues to move through every story we hear and every current experience we have. Our aim, like Paul and Barnabas, is to make people aware of God's amazing presense in our life today.
Prayer: Lord, You are present today and You desire to be a part of our everyday life. Help us to notice You and make You known in all that we do. Amen.
Buy Linda's new book at Amazon.com
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.