“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NIV 1984).
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. (Acts 8:1, 4, NIV 1984).
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:6, NIV 1984).
My Musings – It (“Gentiles are heirs together with Israel”) was a “mystery,” but perhaps it shouldn’t have been. After all, Jesus commissioned His disciples to “be [His] witnesses…to the ends of the earth.” And as persecution broke out in Jerusalem the believers scattered “throughout Judea and Samaria,” and ultimately to those “ends of the earth” Jesus spoke of. Unfortunate circumstances (“persecution“) set the stage for great fortune to those who were reached with the Gospel — Jews and Gentiles, “heirs together.“
My Advice – We are perhaps more fortunate than the early Church. We (at least those of us in the Western world) are able to be witnesses without enduring great persecution. That day may be in the offing but is not here quite yet. Let’s pray that when that day comes, we will be as faithful and successful as the first century believers were.