But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.
Thoughts for Today:I think it's really interesting how Paul leaves the synagogue in protest by saying, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." Paul was obviously very frustrated; after all he had expended a considerable amount of time and effort teaching and in study with the Jews. I'm sure he felt his logic and thought processes related to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy in the person of Jesus were incontrovertible. Yet they still wouldn't believe. Have you ever felt that way before? You've done everything possible with a close friend or family member to bring them into a relationship with Jesus, but they still won't believe. So what are we supposed to do?
When my daughter Amanda was a baby, she was always a pretty good eater, but there would come a time when she had eaten enough. How did I know? First, when I spooned the food into her mouth, she would spit it back out. If I still didn't get the message, she would then seal her lips really tight. If I still didn't get the idea she was full, she would then turn her head to the side and say "No!" If I still kept trying to make her eat she would push the food away. Finally in frustration she would try to get out of the high chair by standing up while pulling off her bib. Now you may think I must be pretty thick to not get all of Amanda's not so subtle hints, but I was just following my wife's instructions, "Feed her a jar of chicken and rice and a jar of bananas. She will be hungry in an hour if she doesn't eat all of it."
In our passage today, the Jews like Amanda thought they were full; they had heard enough; had no interest in hearing any more; and that frustrated Paul. Why? Because he knew they needed Jesus to grow spiritually, just like I knew my daughter needed nourishment and nutrition to grow physically. I have a question for you, do you really think Paul was finished with the Jews (through trying to feed them), or do you think he was merely adjusting his approach?
Questions to Ponder:Do you have a close friend or family member who seems to at this point be closed to hearing about Jesus? Are you tempted to shake out your clothes in protest, as Paul did, and take the Gospel message and your testimony to another person who might value it ("From now on I will go to the Gentiles")? I know it can be frustrating, but even when you feel like you're not making progress, continue on; God's Word penetrates.