Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 13
Dear brothers and sisters,
In the Bible study on the 13th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:
- Barnabas and Saul sent off
- On Cyprus
- In Psidian Antioch
Barnabas and Saul sent off
This chapters tells us that in the church of Antioch (see above) there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were praying and fasting, the Holy Spirit told them that Barnabas and Saul were called for specific work for God. After the prayer and fasting they placed their hands on them and sent them of. This shows that God calls us. Even if we feel ourselves that we want to do something for God, here God shows us that He will call us to do something. I believe that we can miss our true calling if we do something on ourselves, even if it is for God. Pray to God to show you what it is that He wants you to do. Also ask your church to pray for you and your ministry.
Barnabas, born Joseph, was an early Christian, one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36 Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers.
Simeon called Niger
Simeon Niger is a person in the Book of Acts in the New Testament.
Lucius of Cyrene
Lucius of Cyrene was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, one of the founders of the Christian Church in Antioch, then part of Roman Syria. He is mentioned by name as a member of the church there, following the account King Herod’s Death.
Manahen (also Manaen or Menachem) was a teacher in the first century Christian Church at Antioch who had been ‘brought up’ with Herod Antipas.
Barnabas and Saul went to Selucia and from there travelled to Cyprus. Once their they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. With them they had John as their helper. While spreading the gospel through the while island they met a sorcerer called Bar-Jesus in a town called Paphos. This sorcerer was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paul. This proconsul (described as an intelligent man) called for Barnabas and Saul, because he wanted to hear the word of God. See how God already knew why He sent them to Cyprus, to meet this specific person. At the same moment there was Elymas the sorcerer that tried to remove the faith from the proconsul (again we see why they had to go to Cyprus). Paul (Saul) knew through the Holy Spirit exactly what to do and looked to the sorcerer and said:
“You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”
Immediately the man went blind. The proconsul saw this and knew and believed that this was truly the work of God. See how God ensured that the faith of this man was strengthed through a specific calling. Therefore again I ask you to pray to God to show you your calling!
In Psidian Antioch
Antioch in Pisidia – alternatively Antiochia in Pisidia or Pisidian Antioch is a city in the Turkish Lakes Region, which is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Aegean and Central Anatolian regions, and formerly on the border of Pisidia and Phrygia, hence also known as Antiochia in Phrygia. The site lies approximately 1 km northeast of Yalvaç, the modern town of Isparta Province. The city is on a hill with its highest point of 1236 m in the north.
From Paphos they sailed to Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem (apparently his calling on this specific journey was fulfilled and God wanted him back in Jerusalem). From Pergia they went to Pisidian Antioch.
On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue there and sat down. After the reading, it was the people there that asked them if they had an exhortation for the people. If so, than they should speak. They start with telling the whole history up till Jesus and what happened to Jesus. This shows that is important to always share the gospel and to inform people that Jesus has truly been on earth and is truly the Son of God!
After this they also informed them that they were sent to share this, because they need to know that the gentiles are also part of Gods kingdom and that they are wrong to consider themselves not worthy of eternal life. This made the once present to honor the word of God and to believe. Through this the word of God spread true the whole region.
Again we see that even such a good and blessed thing will also bring bad people to oppose and in this case the Jewish leaders were the once to persecute Barnabas and Saul and expelled them from the region. They left and thanked the Holy Spirit and were filled with joy. Why? Even though they were sent away, the word of God had already sent root in the region and continue to flourish there. No man can stop God! Amen!