The mission of Paul and Barnabas in the Acts of the Apostles reveals the nature of discipleship intended by God for those who believe. The disciple is meant to be one who goes out, who becomes an apostle, one who is sent by God. The believer does not remain isolated in his or her relation-ship to God, but becomes part of a family, part of a community of believers. There is a necessary social element to the Gospel. For those who profess to be the people of God, this is a challenging responsibility. Some, it seems, are not interested in sharing their faith with others.
Paul mourns the peoples’ rejection of their mission as it was revealed by the Prophets, and declares that he will now go to the Gentiles to spread the Gospel to them. Relationship with God is not reserved to those of Jewish heritage, nor limited to those living in the geographical region of Pales-tine. As Psalm 100 declares: “Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands.” All people are intended to receive the good news of Jesus Christ. All believers are intended by God to spread that message. God’s love is too big to fit into our relationship alone; it will by its nature spill over into others and bless them.