Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

Devout Jewish Women

In Acts 13 we read about devout Jewish women. At first glance, we would assume this would be a good thing. Further reading, however, shows us in this case it was not.

The chapter begins by sharing of the work of Paul and Barnabas preaching at Cyprus and Antioch. They taught Gentiles saying, “For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’’” (Acts 13:47)

This message excited the Gentiles. They began rejoicing and glorifying the Lord, and many were saved. Revival spread throughout the region.But the Jews saw Gentiles getting saved, and they didn’t like it.

Verse 50 tells us, “But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.”

These devout women were the wealthy, the powerful, the social elite. They were also insecure and easily influenced. Rather than rejoicing in the salvation of others, they listened to lies and stirred up trouble for Paul and Barnabas. Because of them, the two missionaries “shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium.” (v. 51)

Think of all the people who missed out hearing the Good News because these women stirred up persecution against God’s men. 

Whether we’re women of high standing or we’re women who feel invisible, someone is watching us. They’re looking to us. We have a choice. We can draw them nearer to the Lord or we can lead them astray. 

Read about devout Jewish women: Acts 13:44-50

Devout Jewish women

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