5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” (Acts 18:5–6)
It wasn’t long before Silas and Timothy traveled from the greater region of Macedonia and joined Paul in Corinth. Apparently, Silas and Timothy brought financial contributions from several of the Macedonian churches. This permitted Paul to spend less time earning an income making tents, and instead devoting most of his time in preaching the Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:7-9; Philippians 4:10-20).
Luke records that Paul became occupied, or seized by the Lord, with the Word of God. He continually asserted and proclaimed weekly in the synagogue (Acts 18:4) that the prophesied Old Testament Messiah was none other than Jesus Christ.
Understandably, for everyone who repents and receives the imputed righteousness of God by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, there are those who reject the Gospel. Such was the case in Corinth.
There were Jews who opposed and reviled Paul because of the message he preached. In other words, the Jews not only showed hostility towards the apostle but they also insulted, slandered, and cursed him. Such is the fallen world’s hatred of God’s good news of sovereign grace.
Paul’s response to such opposition may seem somewhat surprising. The text states that, “he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” In other words, they were responsible for their own sins and the punishment of those sins by God.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Paul held his opponents completely responsible for blaspheming Christ and rejecting his message (cf. Josh. 2:19; 2 Sam. 1:16; 1 Kings 2:37; Ezek. 18:13; 33:4; Matt. 27:25).”
We, as believers in Christ, have the responsibility to share the Gospel. The responsibility we do not have, and never did, is the response given by the unconverted. They alone are responsible for their rejection of the Gospel. God alone is ultimately responsible for their reception of the same. Never lose sight of this biblical truth.
Soli deo Gloria!