"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Outreach at Antioch and beyond
Acts 11:19-27 and 13:1-3 Commentary
by Elisabeth Johnson
Tertullian's observation that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" certainly rings true to the narrative of Acts.
After the stoning of Stephen (chapter 7), the narrator relates that "a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria" (8:1). Those who were scattered "went from place to place, proclaiming the word" (8:4), including Philip, who proclaimed the gospel in Samaria and to an Ethiopian eunuch (8:5-40).
After relating Saul's conversion from chief persecutor to gospel proclaimer (9:1-31) and the beginnings of Peter's ministry among Gentiles (10:1-48), the narrative moves back to Jerusalem. Peter reports to the church in Jerusalem about his ministry among the Gentiles, and those who hear praise God and marvel that "God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life" (11:18).
Sowing and Watering the Word
At 11:19, the narrative returns to "those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen," and we learn that they have traveled as far as Phoenicia, ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 037: Outreach at Antioch and beyond.
April 22, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Outreach at Antioch and beyond: Acts 11:19-27 and 13:1-3.