The Gentiles . . . were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
— Acts 13:48
When we go to a gathering where there’s a lot of good food, we often say, “That’s a great spread.” It points out that a great feast is spread across the table, and we look forward to enjoying it.
Acts records for us that Paul and Barnabas were spreading the good news of Jesus across a wide geographical area, and many people were experiencing the love and grace of Jesus. They were on a mission, from God, to spread the good news to the Gentiles, people of other nations beyond the Jewish people, and the Gentiles were receiving the good news with great joy.
The power of the good news of God’s love for us, given through the life and death of Jesus and his resurrection, cannot be contained. When Jesus rose from the dead and walked out of the tomb, he proved that as much as we think we can predict how God is going to work, we can’t. We can’t even assume how God will work, because when we do that, we limit our ability to see and participate in God’s work in our lives.
Paul and Barnabas understood that the good news was for all people, and many embraced the truth. Even when there was opposition, the disciples were filled with excitement as the word of God spread.
Father, expand our understanding of how you want to go beyond the limits we tend to set. Fill us with your Spirit and with joy as we learn to follow you. Amen.