At the beginning of our excerpt from the Acts of the Apostles for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, we see Paul and Barnabas taking their seat in the synagogue. This shows that they didn’t believe that the teachings of Jesus and His resurrection would separate them from the synagogue. They took their seats, prepared to celebrate and pray as part of the community. Their encouragement to others was to stay faithful to the grace of God. As God reveals Himself to us, we have a responsibility to respond to that revelation.
Imagine the confusion and excitement that surrounded this new testimony from Paul and Barnabas. They were speaking of the One who had been raised from the dead, and spoke of Him as the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. For those who didn’t believe that, it caused division and sometimes jealousy. For those who did believe in the testimony, it gave great hope and joy.