PENTECOST & PAUL – part 5
Paul and Barnabas set sail from Cyprus and make their way to Antioch in Pisidia. This military capital of the Roman province of Galatia was established by Augustus – it was intended to bring Roman law and order to the bandit-infested highlands of southern Galatia.
Here Paul must have felt that he was nearer to Rome than he’d ever been before. He’d preached in Syria, Cilicia and Cyprus – but he hadn’t yet done so in a Roman colony. He must have immediately grasped its significance – if trade could radiate from here in all directions, so could the gospel!
Paul’s preaching here was so powerful that almost the whole city came to hear him. So great was the response that the Orthodox Jews stirred up persecution against him and Barnabas. So it was here that Paul was to make one of his most important pronouncements. ‘We had to speak the word of God to you first, but since you reject it, we now turn to the Gentiles.’
At that moment Paul and Barnabas gave this remote hill town a position among those places in which the major events of Christianity occurred. It was an announcement that flung wide the door of the faith to the whole world!