44 Jesus declared publicly: Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in the one who sent me,
45 and whoever sees me, sees the one who sent me.
46 I have come into the world as light, to prevent anyone who believes in me from staying in the dark any more.
47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall judge such a person, since I have come not to judge the world, but to save the world:
48 anyone who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of my own accord; but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and what to speak,
50 and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak.
The word of God continued to spread …
The Book of Acts is a story of almost constant movement. Indeed, in this relatively short passage there are five different places named. It gives us a sense of the missionary zeal of the fledgling church and how far and how fast the message of Christ spread in the early decades and centuries. There are also six people named: Saul (Paul), Barnabas, John Mark, Simeon, Lucius and Manaen. Some of these names are familiar to us, some not so. It reminds us that the message of the Gospel is spread through people.
The Word of God still needs to be spoken today. We proclaim the Gospel whenever we look to the poor and those in need, whenever we offer compassion and forgiveness, whenever we live in hope and love. When we do this, our names are added to those who have helped serve the Word and have shared in its telling.