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29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. 30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus. 31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

 

9:29

And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.

The Hellenists were Greek-speaking Jews. They attempted to kill Paul because he boldly spoke in the name of the Lord Jesus. There are times when the hunters become the hunted.

9:30

When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.

Jerusalem was too dangerous for Paul because some attempted to kill him (Acts 9:29). The “brethren,” or fellow believers sent Paul to the seaport Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast, and then sent him north to Tarsus of Cilicia, his birthplace and home town (Ga 1:21). It was also the intellectual city of the Roman Empire. Paul remained there for about ten years until Barnabas brought him back to Antioch (Acts 11:25f).

9:31

Then [meanwhile] the churches [“church” singular in older mss.] throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.

There was a period whereby believers in all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria when Christians were not persecuted. The singular “church” probably refers to the universal church, the whole body of Christ in all their assemblies. The church expanded from Jerusalem to Galilee (the only mention of the church in Galilee).

And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

During this time, the church grew in number and maturity.

PRINCIPLE:

There are times when God puts us on the shelf for His purposes.

APPLICATION:

God put Paul on the shelf in the Arabian desert; He did it again by sending Paul back to his hometown, Tarsus. We do not meet him again until Acts 11. God has a purpose for sending us into retreat. We must wait for God’s time for Him to use us. He is in the process of teaching us to put ourselves at God’s disposal.

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