Right from the start, Jesus personally directed the worldwide preaching and teaching activity. He established the order in which the good news of the Kingdom was to be transmitted to the inhabitants of the earth. During his ministry, he instructed his apostles: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter into a Samaritan city; but, instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’” (Matt. 10:5-7) They did this zealously among Jews and proselytes, especially after Pentecost 33 C.E.—Acts 2:4, 5, 10, 11; 5:42; 6:7.
Later, by means of holy spirit, Jesus extended the Kingdom-preaching work to the Samaritans and then to other non-Jews. (Acts 8:5, 6, 14-17; 10:19-22, 44, 45) With a view to promoting the spread of the good news among the nations, Jesus acted personally to move Saul of Tarsus to become a Christian. Jesus instructed his disciple Ananias: “Rise, go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man named Saul, from Tarsus. . . . Be on your way, because this man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations as well as to kings and the sons of Israel.” (Acts 9:3-6, 10, 11, 15) “This man” became the apostle Paul.—1 Tim. 2:7.
When the time came to expand the work of Kingdom preaching among the non-Jewish nations, heaven directed Paul on missionary journeys in Asia Minor and on into Europe. Luke’s account in Acts states: “As they [Christian prophets and teachers in the congregation in Syrian Antioch] were publicly ministering to Jehovah and fasting, the holy spirit said: ‘Of all persons set Barnabas and Saul apart for me for the work to which I have called them.’ Then they fasted and prayed and laid their hands upon them and let them go.” (Acts 13:2, 3) Jesus had personally called Saul of Tarsus to be His “chosen vessel” to bear His name to the nations; hence, this new impetus to the witnessing work came from Christ, the Leader of the congregation. Jesus’ use of the holy spirit to direct the work became unmistakably clear during Paul’s second missionary trip. The account states that “the spirit of Jesus,” that is, Jesus by means of holy spirit, guided Paul and his traveling companions in the choice of their itinerary, and a vision led them to move on into Europe.—Read Acts 16:6-10.
The Bible; www.jw.org; *** w10 9/15 pp. 23-24 pars. 9-11 “Your Leader Is One, the Christ” ***; *** w11 4/1 pp. 18-19 The Most Infamous Trial Ever Held ***