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Itinerary of Paul’s Missionary Travels Essay

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After being blessed by the prophets and teachers at Antioch community, Paul and others (Barnabas and John) left for minor Asia to spread the gospel of the Lord. The first missionary journey encompasses the experience of Paul and Barnabas at Pisidian in Antioch community (Lucado, 1995, p. 1260). Paul publicly proclaimed the Christian teachings in the synagogue and there was positive response by the Jews. Most Jews and God fearers became interested and invited him to speak again to them on the following Sabbath day. During the next gathering, the Jews from the city were thrown off balance by the large multitude of the crowd and they became hostile toward the apostles. This kind of hostility appeared in all the three accounts of Paul’s missionary journeys in Acts, notably in the Jews of Iconium and Berea (Bruce, 1977). Following the rejection of the gospel of God by the Jews, Paul boldly spoke to the Gentiles who glorified the Lord and the word spread throughout the region. This led to Paul and Barnabas being expelled by the Jews from this region. In Lystra, Paul healed a crippled man to convince his hearers that the divine power works through his word. However, the pagan misinterpreted the miracle as a sign of their gods’ appearance among human beings. The men came in multitudes to sacrifice for the apostles and after been turned down by Paul, they stoned them to near death (Bruce, 1977). This incident revealed the cultural difficulties the missionaries had to face while spreading the gospel of the Lord (Souter, 1927).

The Pharisees after being converted and having discovered the results of the first missionary journey of Paul advocated that the Gentiles follow the Mosaic Law. Paul and Barnabas had to go back to Jerusalem church to settle this matter. Paul’s refusal to impose the Mosaic Law is supported by Peter on the ground that God bestowed the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius and his household without preconditions concerning the adoption of the Mosaic Law.

Paul’s second missionary journey lasted for about 3 years. In his first mission, he visited the communities he had earlier established on his first journey. He then pushed on to Marcedonia, where he established more communities at Philippi, Thessalonia and Berea. Paul healing of the slave girl who was possessed with a spirit of divination led him and Silas to prison. In the middle of the night there was a great earthquake and the doors of the prisons flung open and their chains were loosened. He later baptized the prison’s keeper and his households. In the morning they were set free by the magistrates (Lucado, 1995, p. 1267) He later left for Greece to escape the harsh nature of the Jews at Thessalonia and his attempt to establish the Christian community in Athens failed. From Athens Paul proceeded to Corinth and stayed there for one and a half years. He later returned to Antioch as it was the root in the Jewish community Paul’s third missionary journey devotes itself mainly to his work at Ephesus where he boldly speaks about the kingdom of God. Mighty miracles of God were accomplished by Paul where he healed the sick of diseases and in others the evil spirit was driven out of them. The Holy Spirit then proffered Paul to return to Jerusalem and proceed to on his journey to Rome. Meanwhile, there were riots in Ephesus which were led by Silversmith named Demetrius who made miniature silver shrines of Artemis. Demetrius argued that Paul was a threat to their business and the temple of Artemis will be of no account if people turned to the living God and ignore the gods they make by their own hands. As calm restored in Ephesus, Paul proceeded to Macedonia where he restored a boy’s life by throwing himself upon his dead body. His farewell speech was at Miletus where he called the presbyters despite the alarming difficulties in Ephesus and the neighboring areas. He talked of what he was about to suffer for the Gospel and reminded them to safe guard the community against the false prophets (Lucado, 1995, p. 1274-1275).

References

Bruce, F. (1977). Paul: Apostle of the Free Spirit. London: The Paterson Press Ltd.

Lucado, M. (1995). The Inspirational Bible. United States of America: Word Publishing.

Souter, A. (1927). The Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

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