ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Chapter 13:14-52 – The Work In Antioch
Paul and Barnabas must have felt badly when John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem – Acts 13:13. This did not keep them from continuing the work for which they had been called to do. They still had the burning desire to take the message of the Lord Jesus to places where they had never heard about Him. They went then to the mainland and came to Antioch. This is a different Antioch and is called Antioch in Pisidia. They went right into the Jewish synagogue and sat down. They knew there would be people there to whom they could preach. They heard the Scriptures read. It was the custom in those days that if strangers came into the synagogue, they were asked if they had anything to say. Paul took the opportunity and stood up and began to preach to them. Don’t you like the way Paul takes every opportunity to tell people about the Lord Jesus? He was speaking to those who knew the Old Testament Scriptures. They also knew about the promise of the Messiah. We will give his sermon in four parts.
Vs. 17-26 – What God had done for Israel. He told how the people of Israel had been in the land of Egypt, and that God had brought them out. Remember God used Moses to lead them. They crossed the Red Sea and came out into the wilderness. They lived in the wilderness for 40 years before getting into the promised land of Canaan. Paul went on to tell them how they came to possess that land God had promised them. God destroyed 7 great nations which already were there so His people could live in their land. He told them how Israel had judges for about 450 years. Then they wanted a king, so God gave them what they wanted. Their first king was Saul and he failed the Lord. Then they were given the wonderful king David. Paul went on to let them know that the Savior, Jesus, was a descendant of David. He even spoke of John the Baptist who announced the Lord Jesus as the “Savior – the Lamb of God. Then Paul said that this word of salvation was unto them.
Vs. 27-29 – Paul told them what Israel did to this Savior Jesus. That the ones who were in Jerusalem and their rulers didn’t know Him. Remember Jn. 1:13 – “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” They would have known Him if they had believed the scriptures they read every week. That these rulers did not find any cause of death in Him – Jesus. Still they had Pilate condemn Him to be slain – crucified. When all the scripture was fulfilled that was necessary at that time, they took Him down from the cross and buried Him.
Vs. 30-37 – God used all this for the good of all. Verse 30 is a wonderful verse, “But God raised Him from the dead!” The Lord used their meanness, cruelty, and unbelief, and turned these things into blessing. Many people knew He was raised from the dead. They believed on Him. Remember another verse – Rom. 10:9-10. In order to be saved we must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, and we will be saved! The enemies of Jesus, including the devil, thought they had gotten rid of Jesus when they crucified Him. Aren’t you glad no one can defeat the Lord? He made even the horrible death of the Lord Jesus to work for good.
Vs. 38-41 – The ones hearing the message had to decide. Paul told them that they could have forgiveness of sins, and be justified from all things. They couldn’t get this by the Law. He gave the warning that they had to make the choice to believe. It is the same today. When we hear the message that Jesus loves us and died for us, and that He wants to come into our hearts, it is up to us to make this great decision to accept Him as our own Savior. Even if others turn away, we must turn to Him. Jesus loves you and wants to come into your heart and life. Ask him in. Turn your life over to Him.
There were Gentiles there (those who were not Jews). They wanted to hear more the next Sabbath. Some of the Jews also believed (vs. 42-43). The next Sabbath day the whole city turned out to hear the message (vs. 44-45). Wouldn’t we like it if all the city came to hear the word? Some of the Jews became very jealous and spoke against Paul and Barnabas. Vs. 46-49, since their message was not received by the Jews, the missionaries turned to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were glad! Aren’t you happy that you were able to hear about Jesus? There are still those in the world that have never heard. We must pray for them. Vs. 50-52, those jealous Jews stirred up both men and women to get these men out of their city. So they went on to the nest city. Instead of getting angry at the ones mistreating them, they must have turned it all over to the Lord, for it says the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost. They were not defeated. We can learn this, too, and give it all over to the Lord. While others are all upset and angry, we can be filled with joy. They knew they had done what the Lord wanted them to do, so it was all right.
Continued in the December issue