We live in an environment of political chaos. It’s increasingly more difficult to know where we can find truth. Paul and Barnabas found themselves in a similar situation in Iconium. Their agenda was to spread the Gospel but there were other agendas at play; manipulating the truth for their benefit. The Jews, at the time, held the power seat and it was being threatened by this new message. They were even willing to stone them to rid themselves of the threat. It’s interesting how people with the most dogmatic ideologies can be swayed from their platform with relative ease when their power is being threatened.
However, Paul and Barnabas had a game plan. They sought to reason with those in authority and to convince them of the truth. After giving it their best effort, they moved on to the surrounding country.
Sweeping, lasting change will never be made from the top down. It will always start from the bottom.
The truth of God’s Word planted and deeply rooted in the lowliest of persons can eventually change a nation. The greatest king in Israel’s history is proof. Following the same line of thinking: David started with his personal lions and bears. He was faithful with little and God saw fit to send Samuel to increase his influence. The rest is…history.
The application for me is to begin with the “plank in my own eye”, allow others to see the evidence of God working in my life and share the solution with those in my immediate circle of concern. Easier said then done.
Although – David wasn’t alone either.
14 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.[a] 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel. Acts 14:1-7 ESV
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5 ESV