Acts 13:1 “…there were certain prophets and teachers…”
So there were those who were gifted as prophets within the church. I don’t see that anything has changed from then until now. We do ourselves a disservice by not acknowledging those who have that gift and allowing them to fulfill their ministry within the local church.
1 “…Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch…”
Wonder if he was of royal lineage or was just friends with the family.
3 “…fasted and prayed…”
Fasting appears to have as much a part of normalcy as praying.
3 “…they sent them away…”
A church sends out its first missionary team.
5 “…preached the word of God in the synagogues…”
Not a bad strategy. Find those who were already worshipping God and explain the truth to them. Those who would believe could form a new church and continue to spread the good news in the area.
5 “…John as their assistant”
John Mark has started the journey with them.
6 “…Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus…”
Name means son of Jesus or Joshua. Thought at one time he was using the name in reference to Jesus Christ as a way of saying he had the same powers to perform miracles as Jesus did. However, the name Jesus was common, and there is no evidence of this. Also don’t know to what extent the news of Jesus’s earthly ministry had reached beyond Israel.
9 “…Saul, who also is called Paul…”
First reference of the name. He’ll be called Paul from now on.
12 “…proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done…”
Apparently what was done by Paul was more significant an action than what the sorcerer had been doing.
13 “…John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem”
John Mark leaves them and goes home to Jerusalem. Nothing is said about his reasons, and he has taken a lot of heat through the years for this decision. But the scripture shows he was a great asset to Paul at a later time. His story is given to us for our edification, but we need to be sure we don’t give more attention to this part of his life and not the other which speaks better of him. Besides, we don’t know the full reasons for him leaving although Paul won’t take him along on the next journey because he left them here.
18 “…for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness”
Something of a parallel here. God put up with the people of old and gave them the law. He has put up with the current generations until He gave them Christ. Those listening should be wise and accept what they hear and not be like the older generations.
19 “…when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan…”
Reference to the fact that God gave the people of the land a chance to repent for many years before he judged and destroyed them.
24 “…after John had first preached…”
He makes several references to John the Baptist and what he taught and said. Wonder if Paul was one of the scribes and Pharisees who could be found always listening in on John and Jesus. He was certainly in the area during the time. He could also have been told the stories by the other believers after his conversion. I’d like to think he witnessed most of it himself and after his conversion, made the connection between John and the forerunner of the scripture.
27 “…even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath…”
The condemnation of the religious leaders. They knew the scripture and continue to read them every Sabbath. Yet they refused to believe.
32-33 “…we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus…”
Fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham.
37 “…He whom God raised up saw no corruption”
Point which is sometimes overlooked. Jesus was dead for three days, but his body did not see corruption. Just like the manna didn’t decay if it was collected on Friday for the Sabbath.
39 “…by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses”
Excellent sermon. Short and to the point, but lays out the foundation of the promise of salvation from God through the scriptures. Points out here the reason for the need of salvation, we can’t save ourselves.
41 “…A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you”
Comes full circle. Points back to his opening point, don’t be like the Israelites of old.
42-43 “…when the Jews went out of the synagogue…many of the Jews and devout proselytes…”
Jews in verse 42 must be a reference to those who were like the religious leaders of Jerusalem. Those who found their salvation because they were Jewish, not from what the scripture taught. Some Jews apparently did believe along with many of the Gentile proselytes.
44 “…almost the whole city came together…”
The news had spread during the week.
45 “…Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy…”
So sad. More concerned with appearance and glory of man than the truth. The very reason they were meeting in the synagogue had come to them, but they rejected it.
50 “…stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city…”
Interesting. Got the prominent women on their side, those with influence. Apparently women did have a lot of power before the modern feminists movements.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.