How unpredictable people are. Just yesterday the people were amazed that Peter was able to cure a cripple with the use of the name of Jesus. Now others have arrived and convinced the people that the teachings of Paul are not true. Paul is stoned.
Stoning is a terrible way to die. And most of the time stoning is fatal. Paul has survived. And instead of leaving the area he goes right back to teaching in the same location.
To be a preacher at that time meant you must be a person of strength and desire to overcome all obstacles. Paul was stoned, beaten with rods, and shipwrecked three times. It is said a shipwreck at that time is comparable to an airplane crash today. Why would he go through all this?
The gospel gives us a clue. Jesus has said He is going to the Father and if you loved Jesus, you would be happy for Him.
Judas, not the Iscariot, asks if Jesus is going to reveal Himself to the world. Judas is thinking Jesus will put on His crown and open the heavens and rain down fireworks on their enemies.
The heavens open for sure, but it is not fireworks of destruction but the fireworks of love that are rained down on everyone. Love is the force Jesus will use. It is the power of the Spirit given to all of us. It is the power of the Spirit that kept Paul teaching through all kinds of adversity. We can do the same.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen