truth-squeezed-outImagine the scene: It is some time in the middle of the first century AD. You live in the multicultural town of Antioch in the district of Pisidia in southern Turkey, located on a major Roman trade route. You are a merchant of Middle-Eastern descent, and each Saturday you meet with your countrymen in a synagogue in accordance with the Jewish custom. Then one day a couple of wild-eyed strangers walk into town with an interesting story.

The story of what happened next is told in Acts chapter 13. On the first week, Paul and Barnabas were invited to give the people any word of encouragement they might have, and Paul spoke at length in a passionate manner about the history of God’s people Israel, and how God had promised to send them a saviour, and how a man called Jesus had been sent to earth as that saviour, and how he had been executed, but miraculously God had raised him from the dead.

After the first week, Paul’s audience were intrigued with the story and wanted to know more, but when huge crowds gathered the following week for the sequel, the dynamics in the room had changed. The leaders could see that the newcomers were stealing their glory, so they hounded them out of town. As has so often happened in the course of human history, truth became a casualty of the quest for personal power.

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