Paul's first journey to tell the good news
Barnabas and Saul are chosen and sent
1The church at Antioch had several prophets and teachers. They were Barnabas, Simeon, also called Niger, Lucius from Cyrene, Manaen, who was Herod's#13.1 Herod's: See the note at 4.27. close friend, and Saul. 2While they were worshipping the Lord and going without eating,#13.2 going without eating: The Jews often went without eating as a way of showing how much they loved God. This is also called “fasting”. the Holy Spirit told them, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have chosen them.” 3Everyone prayed and went without eating for a while longer. Next, they placed their hands on Barnabas and Saul to show that they had been appointed to do this work. Then everyone sent them on their way.
Barnabas and Saul in Cyprus
4After Barnabas and Saul had been sent by the Holy Spirit, they went to Seleucia. From there they sailed to the island of Cyprus. 5They arrived at Salamis and began to preach God's message in the Jewish meeting places. They also had John#13.5 John: Whose other name was Mark (see 12.12,25). as a helper.
6Barnabas and Saul went all the way to the city of Paphos on the other end of the island, where they met a Jewish man named Bar-Jesus. He practised witchcraft and was a false prophet. 7He also worked for Sergius Paulus, who was very clever and was the governor of the island. Sergius Paulus wanted to hear God's message, and he sent for Barnabas and Saul. 8But Bar-Jesus, whose other name was Elymas, was against them. He even tried to keep the governor from having faith in the Lord.
9Then Saul, better known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked straight at Elymas 10and said, “You son of the devil! You are a liar, a criminal, and an enemy of everything that is right. When will you stop speaking against the true ways of the Lord? 11The Lord is going to punish you by making you completely blind for a while.”
Suddenly the man's eyes were covered by a dark mist, and he went around trying to get someone to lead him by the hand. 12When the governor saw what had happened, he was amazed at this teaching about the Lord. So he put his faith in the Lord.
Paul and Barnabas in Antioch of Pisidia
13Paul and the others left Paphos and sailed to Perga in Pamphylia. But John#13.13 John: See the note at 13.5. left them and went back to Jerusalem. 14The rest of them went on from Perga to Antioch in Pisidia. Then on the Sabbath they went to the Jewish meeting place and sat down.
15After the reading of the Law and the Prophets,#13.15 the Law and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament. the leaders sent someone over to tell Paul and Barnabas, “Friends, if you have anything to say that will help the people, please say it.”
16Paul got up. He motioned with his hand and said:
People of Israel, and everyone else who worships God, listen! 17#Exod 1.7Exod 12.51The God of Israel chose our ancestors, and he let our people prosper while they were living in Egypt. Then with his mighty power he led them out, 18#Num 14.34Deut 1.31and for about forty years he took care of#13.18 took care of: Some manuscripts have “put up with”. them in the desert. 19#Deut 7.1Josh 14.1He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave their land to our people. 20#Judg 2.161 Sam 3.20All this happened in about 450 years.
Then God gave our people judges until the time of the prophet Samuel, 21#1 Sam 8.51 Sam 10.21but the people demanded a king. So for forty years God gave them King Saul, the son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. 22#1 Sam 13.141 Sam 16.12Psa 89.20Later, God removed Saul and let David rule in his place. God said about him, “David the son of Jesse is the kind of person who pleases me most! He does everything I want him to do.”
23God promised that someone from David's family would come to save the people of Israel, and that one is Jesus. 24#Mark 1.4Luke 3.3But before Jesus came, John was telling everyone in Israel to turn back to God and be baptized. 25#John 1.20Matt 3.11Mark 1.7Luke 3.16John 1.27Then, when John's work was almost done, he said, “Who do you people think I am? Do you think I am the Promised One? He will come later, and I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”
26Now listen, you descendants of Abraham! Pay attention, all you Gentiles who are here to worship God! Listen to this message about how to be saved, because it is for everyone. 27The people of Jerusalem and their leaders didn't realize who Jesus was. And they didn't understand the words of the prophets that they read each Sabbath. So they condemned Jesus just as the prophets had said.
28-29 # Matt 27.2223Mark 15.1314Luke 23.21–23John 19.15 # Matt 27.57–61Mark 15.42–47Luke 23.50–56John 19.38–42 They did exactly what the Scriptures said they would. Even though they couldn't find any reason to put Jesus to death, they still asked Pilate to have him killed.
After Jesus had been put to death, he was taken down from the cross#13.28,29 cross: This translates a Greek word that means “wood”, “pole”, or “tree”. and placed in a tomb. 30But God raised him from death! 31#Acts 1.3Then for many days Jesus appeared to his followers who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. Now they are telling our people about him.
32God made a promise to our ancestors. And we are here to tell you the good news 33#Psa 2.7that he has kept this promise to us. It is just as the second Psalm says about Jesus,
“You are my son because today
I have become your Father.”
34 # Isa 55.3 (LXX) God raised Jesus from death and will never let his body decay. It is just as God said,
“I will make to you
the same holy promise
that I made to David.”
35 # Psa 16.10 And in another psalm it says, “God will never let the body of his Holy One decay.”
36When David was alive, he obeyed God. Then after he died, he was buried in the family grave, and his body decayed. 37But God raised Jesus from death, and his body did not decay.
38My friends, the message is that Jesus can forgive your sins! The Law of Moses could not set you free from all your sins. 39But everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free. 40Make sure that what the prophets have said doesn't happen to you. They said,
41 # Hab 1.5 (LXX) “Look, you people
who make fun of God!
Be amazed
and disappear.
I will do something today
that you won't believe,
even if someone
tells you about it!”
42As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the meeting, the people begged them to say more about these same things on the next Sabbath. 43After the service, many Jews and a lot of Gentiles who worshipped God went with them. Paul and Barnabas begged them all to remain faithful to God, who had been so kind to them.
44The next Sabbath almost everyone in town came to hear the message about the Lord.#13.44 the Lord: Some manuscripts have “God”. 45When the Jewish people saw the crowds, they were very jealous. They insulted Paul and spoke against everything he said.
46But Paul and Barnabas bravely said:
We had to tell God's message to you before we told it to anyone else. But you rejected the message! This proves that you don't deserve eternal life. Now we are going to the Gentiles. 47#Isa 42.6Isa 49.6The Lord has given us this command,
“I have placed you here
as a light
for the Gentiles.
You are to take
the saving power of God
to people everywhere on earth.”
48This message made the Gentiles glad, and they praised what they had heard about the Lord.#13.48 the Lord: See the note at 13.44. Everyone who had been chosen for eternal life then put their faith in the Lord.
49The message about the Lord spread all over that region. 50But the Jewish leaders went to some of the important men in the town and to some respected women who were religious. They turned them against Paul and Barnabas and started making trouble for them. They even chased them out of that part of the country.
51 # Matt 10.14Mark 6.11Luke 9.5Luke 10.11 Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from that place off their feet#13.51 shook the dust from that place off their feet: This was a way of showing rejection. and went on to the city of Iconium.
52But the Lord's followers in Antioch were very happy and were filled with the Holy Spirit.
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