Setting

Having been sent out by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Paul, accompanied by Mark, first sailed to Cypress and preached on that island. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, even the proconsul of Paphos believed in the Lord, in spite of Elymas’ schemes. From Paphos, the apostles sailed to Perga, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. Then the apostles came to Antioch in Pisidia, where, on two Sabbaths, the apostles powerfully proclaimed the name of Christ to both the Jews and the Gentiles. But an intense opposition arose from the Jews, which led to the expulsion of the apostles from that region. The passage of this lesson is an account of the ministry in Pisidian Antioch.

Key Verse

(13:47)

Did You Know...?

1. Perga (13:13): “the capital of Pamphylia, on the coast of Asia Minor… It stood on the banks of the river Cestrus, some 7 miles from its mouth, and was a place of some commercial importance. It is now a ruin, called Eski Kalessi.” [ref]
2. Antioch in Pisidia (13:14) has been identified with the modern Yalobatch, which is to the east of Ephesus. [ref]
3. Shook off the dust from their feet (13:51): This was a gesture of scorn and disassociation. [ref] What the apostles did here was in accord with what the Lord Jesus had instructed (see Mt 10:11-15).

Outline

  • Preaching on the First Sabbath
    (13:13-43)
  • Preaching on the Second Sabbath
    (13:44-52)

Segment Analysis

  • 13:13-43

    1.

    What did John Mark do in Perga?

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    He departed from Paul and Barnabas and returned to Jerusalem (13).

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  • 2.

    Where did Paul and Barnabas preach at Pisidian Antioch? Why?

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    They preached in the synagogue. They would do the same in many of the cities that they would subsequently visit.
    Those who attended the synagogue were men of Israel and people who feared God, including some Gentiles and devout proselytes (16,26,42,43). These people knew the Scriptures (15), and so the groundwork had been laid for them to receive Jesus Christ. Since the promise of the Savior is in the Scriptures, these people were the natural candidates to understand how Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of God’s promise.
    Another reason why the apostles preached at the synagogue is that it was God’s will for the gospel to be preached to the Jews first (46), and the Jews congregated at the synagogue every Sabbath day. God chose the Israelites in the Old Testament times, made a covenant with them, and promised them that a Savior would come from the line of David. God was faithful to His promise and His covenant. Therefore, He raised up a savior for Israel (23) and sent Him to preach to the house of Israel first (cf. Mt 15:24). The apostles understood the will of God. That is why they knew they had the obligation to tell the good tiding of Jesus Christ to the Jews first, even though many of the Jews refused to accept the gospel.

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  • 3.

    Which day did the apostles as well as Luke the author consider to be the Sabbath day?

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    The apostles and Luke considered the Sabbath day kept by the Jews to be the Sabbath day (14). There is not the slightest mention of a Jewish Sabbath day (Saturday) as opposed to a Christian Sabbath day (which many Christians today incorrectly believe to be Sunday). In the New Testament, for the Christians and the Jews alike, there was only one day in a week that was called the Sabbath day.

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  • 4.

    Record all the things God had done for the Israelites, as described in 17-23.

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    God chose their fathers (17), exalted the people when they dwelt in the land of Egypt (17), brought them out of Egypt with an uplifted arm (17), put up with their ways in the wilderness for forty years (18), destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan (19), distributed their land to them by allotment (19), gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years (20), gave them Saul when they asked for a king (21), removed Saul after forty years (22), raised up for them David as king (22), and raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus (23).

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  • 5a.

    What was God’s promise to Israel?

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    God had promised to raise up a savior for Israel who would not see corruption (23,34 37) This Savior would deliver them from their sins and make them holy and righteous before God (Lk 1:68-75).

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  • 5b.

    How did He fulfill His promise?

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    God gave them Jesus (33). After Jesus was put to death and buried in a tomb, God raised Him from the dead (27-30).

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  • 6.

    What can we receive through believing in Jesus Christ?

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    Because He is the Anointed One of God, we can obtain the forgiveness of sins through Him (38), and can be justified by faith in Him (39).

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  • 7.

    Why does Paul quote the passage from Habakkuk (41)?

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    Paul quoted from the prophetic warning in the Old Testament to urge his listeners to repent and turn to the Lord. If God had already prophesied the coming of the Savior and the plight of the unbelieving, those who hear the gospel message must take the prophet’s warning seriously and believe in the Lord Jesus in order to escape God’s judgment.

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  • 13:44-52

    8.

    How was the second Sabbath gathering in Pisidian Antioch different from the first?

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    It drew a much larger audience. Almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. Apparently, word had spread about the good tidings that Paul and Barnabas were proclaiming. But opposition also rose up against Paul and Barnabas.

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  • 9a.

    Why did the Jews oppose Paul and Barnabas?

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    They were filled with envy to see Paul and Barnabas attract such a large multitude of Gentiles who were eager to hear the word of God (45). They were angry to see the apostles break beyond the traditions of Judaism to share God’s word with the Gentiles.

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  • 9b.

    What did they do to oppose the gospel?

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    They contradicted and blasphemed the message of Paul (45).

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  • 10a.

    How did Paul and Barnabas respond to their opposition?

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    They did not shrink back, but courageously told the Jews that since they had rejected the word of God and judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life, the apostles would now preach to the Gentiles instead. The apostles continued to spread the word throughout the region (49).

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  • 10b.

    What can we learn from this?

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    Oppositions are bound to happen when we preach the word of God. But just because some people refuse to hear us should not stop us from preaching altogether. There are others who are thirsting for the truth and are in need of God. We cannot become discouraged, but must continue to carry out our mission.

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  • 11.

    Based on verses 46 and 48, what can we know about God’s granting of eternal life and man’s response to the gospel?

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    Luke commented that “As many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” (48). Those who believe Jesus Christ have been appointed to eternal life. This means that it is God who chooses people and destines them to receive eternal life (Jn 15:16; Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4-5). On the other hand, a person who rejects the gospel message judges himself unworthy of everlasting life. He pronounces judgment and brings condemnation on himself (Jn 3:18,36).

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  • 12.

    What did the Jews resort to when they saw that Paul and Barnabas continued to preach the word of the Lord throughout the whole region?

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    They stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region (50).

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  • 13.

    What was the condition of the disciples at Pisidian Antioch when Paul and Barnabas were expelled from that region?

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    They were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Although they would most definitely face the same persecution that the apostles were facing, these new believers were not afraid because they had accepted Christ into their lives and they were experiencing the wonderful grace of the Lord.

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