We think the gospel is small

When is the last time you put your faith so much in God to work through His word that your solution to your lost friends’ lives and struggles was a gospel presentation?

Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul (Acts 13:1).

Have you ever read that verse before? If you have, I imagine that you read over it without seeing some of the depths within it. Don’t worry, most people do. But there is some depth here that will equip us for faithful Christian living.

At this point, a deacon Stephen and apostle James have been killed for the faith. Peter was imprisoned and then miraculously freed by God to continue the mission. And chapter 12 in Acts details a painful death for Herod Agrippa.

All of that background set up this verse for us today. Manean, a lifelong friend of Herod the Tetrarch, is the name that we are zooming in on. Manean. Most people don’t even remember that name from the Bible. This is a guy who was a close friend to Herod Antipas, or Herod the Tetrarch. Herod the Great was the Herod at Jesus’ birth. Herod Agrippa was the Herod in the early church and Acts 12. But Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch, is the ruler who was around for Jesus’ ministry. He was hearing the stories of Jesus and even presided over Jesus’ case letting our innocent Savior be crucified. Thanks be to God for that! What man meant for evil, God meant for good.

Manaen, a lifelong friend of that Herod, became a teacher in the early church. The gospel reached into the heart of a carnal, upper class, lost-as-lost-could-be man. If we had met him, you and I would have not seen salvation possible for him. But God has much greater plans than we do. When we encounter the lost in our lives and think they are too far to reach with God’s word, that is our moment to give them Jesus all the more. Will God always work in every life we share the good news to? Not necessarily.

But don’t let yourself believe that the gospel is too small for you or them or our local and national leaders or the dictators around the world. Don’t believe that lie. The gospel is not too small because our Savior is master of the cosmos. And there is no greater comfort than that.

So pray for the lost in your life. And take every opportunity you can to share with them about the God who can save the most far gone of people and soften even the hardest of hearts. God is too big for us to think His good news is too small.


James Hammack is a regular contributor to The Rope. He also is digital services manager for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. He also serves as worship pastor at Sovereign Grace Church, Prattville. He and his wife, Alicia, have three children.


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