Today's epistle reading comes from Acts 19:1-10. Although it's a short reading, it's chocked full of interesting things. The first 7 verses describe the baptism of 12 "disciples" who Paul came across in Ephesus. Evidently, these disciples had been baptized into John's baptism but knew nothing more of baptism than this baptism of repentance. Paul remedied that problem and before you know it, Paul baptizes them in the name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit "came on them" and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. What a beautiful outpouring of the Spirit.
Paul then enters the synagogue in Ephesus, as is his usual custom, and spends 3 months speaking boldly, "reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God." However, notice what happens.
But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.
I find it really interesting that after doing all that he could to persuade them to believe, he came to a point where he had to make a decison: stay or go. He chose to leave and instead began preaching/teaching in the hall of Tyrannus.
What do we learn from Paul?
Sometimes it's okay to move on. That's exactly what Paul did. He moved on and stayed 2 years teaching "so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks." (v. 10)
Not everyone will be receptive. For whatever reason, these folks in the synagogue just weren't receptive to the gospel and even began to slander it.
We must listen to the Spirit. Although the text doesn't specifically say so, I'm sure Paul was in regular prayer about this situation. Notice he stayed 3 months in the synagogue. He took him a while to determine it was time to move on. It pays to be patient and wait on the Lord.
So, those are the thoughts that surfaced during my reflection this morning. Feel free to share your reflections in the comments below.