Scattered to grow


“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” (Acts 8:1b)

Stephen’s murder set off mob violence against the Christians in Jerusalem. That persecution did something that was unexpected. Most of the Christians left Jerusalem for the surrounding country. This was a strategic error on the Jewish official’s part because it actually made suppression of this faith in Jesus harder. Now the Christians were scattered abroad, but worse than that, they were sharing about this Jesus. They were not only running in fear but running with the Good News of Jesus bringing more to trust Him.

One thing you don’t want to do is spread Christians around if you are a Jesus hater. You do that and you are going to see more Christians. They multiply because they have something the rest of the world doesn’t have, a Savior and Lord. Through the deadly persecution of the early Church the word about Jesus spread and took root, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in more and more people’s lives. That is why the movement didn’t die out. It was the Holy Spirit who made the witness of Jesus come alive in people’s lives. The followers of Jesus just sowed the message of His life, death and resurrection, and God brought the increase, through faith in other’s lives. This is the message of the unstoppable transforming power of Jesus.

Heavenly Father, scatter us in our communities and nations so that the Good News of Your Son can get out. Empower our witness by Your Holy Spirit and bring new believers into Your Forever Family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.

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