ONE TIME TOO MANY
“And through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” Acts 13:39
In Acts 13:4 it says “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.” From Cyprus, Paul and his company sailed to Asia Minor. They traveled north into the mountains to Antioch of Pisidia, one of at least 16 cities named Antioch in the empire. In this thriving Roman colony, as in other cities he visited, Paul spoke first in the synagogue, telling Jews and God-fearing Gentiles alike that forgiveness of sin was proclaimed through Jesus and that "by him every one that believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:39). This was not an exception clause but an explanation clause. The meaning is not, "Though the law justifies from many things, it cannot justify from all things, but Christ makes up all deficiencies"; but the meaning is, "By Christ the believer is justified from all things, whereas the law justifies from nothing." His words were apparently attentively received, for he was asked to speak again the following week. On that occasion, says Acts 13:44, "almost the whole city gathered together to hear the word of God." But tradition-minded Jews, who saw the substantial threat to their community in Paul's words, tried to turn the meeting into a debate. Paul responded by quoting Isaiah, "I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 13:47).
The Jews had turned this message concerning all things down one time too many. Paul turned to the Gentiles around them with the good news message. The Jews will eventually be taught this message through very tough means – great tribulation.