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Chapter 13

Acts 13 Commentary

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Acts 13:1-3 meaning

The prophets and teachers of the church of Antioch are urged by the Spirit to send Barnabas and Saul (Paul) on a missionary journey. They obey, commissioning the pair after prayer and fasting.

Acts 13:4-12 meaning

Barnabas, Saul (Paul), and their helper John Mark sail to the island of Cyprus. They preach the gospel in the synagogues from the eastern shore to the western shore. In the port city of Paphos, they share the good news of Jesus with a Roman proconsul. The proconsul's court magician, Elymas, tries to stop the proconsul from believing in Jesus. Saul (Paul) rebukes Elymas, and Elymas is struck temporarily blind by God. The Roman proconsul believes in Jesus.

Acts 13:13-15 meaning

The team sails north to Pamphylia, where John Mark abandons them to go home to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas go further inland into the province of Galatia, to the capital city of Pisidian Antioch. There, they visit a synagogue, and Paul is invited to preach.

Acts 13:16-25 meaning

Paul preaches through the Hebrew scriptures (The Old Testament), tracing God's work and promises toward the Jewish People. God chose the Fathers of Israel, freed the Israelites and gave them the Promised Land, led them through judges and kings, such as David, a man who obeyed God. God brought a Savior to Israel from the line of David: Jesus. John the Prophet and Baptizer prepared the way for Jesus, preaching repentance and the greatness of the coming Savior.

Acts 13:26-31 meaning

Paul tells his audience that Jesus was the promised Savior sent by God. He fulfilled the prophecies and promises made by God in the Old Testament. The leaders of Israel rejected Jesus and put Him to death, which was also prophesied in the Old Testament. God raised Jesus back to life. Many witnesses saw Jesus after He resurrected and have been spreading the news ever since.

Acts 13:32-37 meaning

Paul tells his Galatian audience that God has fulfilled His promise of a Savior in their lifetime. Jesus is God’s Son and God would not let His Son stay dead. He raised Him back to life, as the scriptures foretold.

Acts 13:38-43 meaning

Paul explains that through faith in Jesus, anyone who believes will be forgiven of their sins and freed from the power of sin in their lives. Through Jesus we are seen as righteous in God's sight. Paul warns his listeners to believe, lest they suffer God's wrath toward those who scoff at Him. Paul's audience begs Barnabas and him to return a week later to preach again. Paul encourages the Galatians in their new faith.

Acts 13:44-52 meaning

Paul preaches in Pisidian Antioch again, with most of the city gathered to hear him. But certain jealous Jewish leaders interrupt him and slander him. Paul and Barnabas condemn these men, saying that if they will reject God's offer of eternal life, then Paul and Barnabas will preach it to the Gentiles. The Gentiles are excited to hear this, and many believe. The number of believers grows in that area, until the Jewish opponents organize a persecution that drives Paul and Barnabas out of town. But the new believers in Jesus in Pisidian Antioch do not abandon their faith. God sustains them through His Spirit, giving them joy.