42 Paul and Barnabas prepared to leave the synagogue, but the people wanted to hear more and urged them to return the following Sabbath. 43 As the people dispersed after the meeting, many Jews and converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas. Privately Paul and Barnabas continued teaching them and urged them to remain steadfast in the grace of God. 44 The next Sabbath, it seemed the whole city had gathered to hear the message of the Lord. 45 But some of the Jewish leaders were jealous when they saw these huge crowds. They began to argue with and contradict Paul’s message, as well as slander him. 46 Paul and Barnabas together responded with great confidence.
Paul and Barnabas: OK, then. It was only right that we should bring God’s message to you Jewish people first. But now, since you are rejecting our message and identifying yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we are turning to the outsiders. 47 The Lord has commanded us to do this. Remember His words:
I have appointed you a light to the nations beyond Israel,
so you can bring redemption to every corner of the earth.[a]
48 These words created two strong reactions. The outsiders were thrilled and praised God’s message, and all those who had been appointed for eternal life became believers. 49 Through them the Lord’s message spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders united the aristocratic religious women and the city’s leading men in opposition to Paul and Barnabas, and soon they were persecuted and driven out of the region. 51 They simply shook the dust off their feet in protest and moved on to Iconium. 52 The disciples weren’t intimidated at all; rather, they were full of joy and the Holy Spirit.