Acts 13: Connecting Effectively
Acts 13 brings us to the beginning of the missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas. After praying and making sure that this was what God really wanted them to be doing, they began to start preaching in synagogues. It is perhaps not surprising that Paul, trained as a priest, speaking to an audience of Jewish people who would have had a working knowledge of the Old Testament decided to appeal to them by showing how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies.
Act 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
Act 13:23 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
I think that this is obviously part of the beauty of the Christian worldview. I have written about this before, but Jesus was the point that history was building towards. If you read the rest of this chapter, you’ll see how essentially the Old Testament fits together to lead the way to Jesus. The narrative is powerful, and it simply makes sense.
I actually just got home from a Bible study where we are talking about worldview, and it is also significant here that Paul was able to connect the Jewish worldview to the Christian worldview. He understood that there was common ground here. He understood that there was an audience who understood the truth of the Old Testament. Because of that, he was able to use that in his presentation.
It is somewhat like a Christian today discussing the reality of evil in the world. Christians and non-Christians alike understand that the world is a messed up place. With that shared understanding, Christians are able to advance the question and provide a reason for the existence of evil.
Paul is very instructive for us as we seek to be both evangelists and defenders of the Christian faith. We can learn a lot by watching how he approached different audiences.