Opposition and Success

OPPOSITION AND SUCCESS (ACTS 18:6-8). Paul reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. Later, he described his ministry this way:

I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling (1 Corinthians 2:3).

Amazingly, his ministry at Corinth had many favorable results. One of the synagogue’s rulers, Crispus, became a Christian along with his household. He was one of the few whom Paul personally baptized along with Gaius [Titus Justus].

However, opposition to Paul arose in the synagogue from the Jews and he symbolically condemned them.

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.”

Yahweh had warned Ezekiel that He would hold him accountable for the blood of the wicked if the prophet did not warn them (Ezekiel 3:17-21; 33:1-9). Paul announces that he is innocent of their blood. They had the opportunity to be saved, but turned it down. In the trial of Jesus, the Jews took the blood of Jesus on their heads.

This is the first time Paul leaves the synagogue voluntarily. Before this, he had always been forced out but now he walks out and enters into a house next to the synagogue. One can imagine the intense sense of rivalry that this move incurred. As at Pisidian Antioch, Paul turns dramatically from the Jews to the Gentiles, and many Corinthians, who heard him preached, believed and were baptized.

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