Front Page

Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: The Acts of the Apostles

(Return to New Testament Contents)


Frameworks: Acts 11


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation.)


v.1-18 Peter Explains His Actions

v.19-21 The Church in Antioch established

v.22-24 Barnabas sent to Antioch and many saved

v.25-26 Barnabas brings Saul to Antioch

v.27-30 Prophets sent to bolster the church in Antioch



v.1-18 Peter Explains His Actions


v.1  The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.

v.2,3  So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

v.4  Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story:

v.5  “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was.

v.6  I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds.

v.7  Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.'

v.8  “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'

v.9  “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.'

v.10  This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

v.11  “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying.

v.12  The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's house.

v.13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter.

v.14  He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.'

v.15  “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.

v.16  Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with[ b ] the Holy Spirit.'

v.17  So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God's way?”

v.18  When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”


[Passage Synopsis: Back in Jerusalem, after the word of what had happened spread through Judea, Peter receives opposition for having been with Gentiles, and so explains in exact detail what had happened. Only when he did this was the inclusion of the Gentiles accepted.]



v.19-21 The Church in Antioch established


v.19  Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.

v.20  Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.

v.21  The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.


[Passage Synopsis: The earlier persecution had obviously caused a lot of movement in the church and it is fascinating to note that the word had reached Antioch in the far north where Jews had been converted but it was believers from Cyprus and Cyrene who had gone there and had been speaking to Gentiles (Greeks) with the result that even larger numbers turned to the Lord.]



v.22-24 Barnabas sent to Antioch and many saved


v.22  News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.

v.23  When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.

v.24  He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.


[Passage Synopsis: Hearing of this, the mother church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas there to check it out and when he encouraged the embryonic church and preached (inferred), many more people turned to the Lord. Antioch had therefore become another hub for the church.]



v.25-26 Barnabas brings Saul to Antioch & they teach together


v.25,26   Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.


[Passage Synopsis: Recognising he needed help, Barnabas went to Tarsus where Saul was and brought him to Antioch and the two taught and built up the church there.]



v.27-30 Prophets sent to bolster the church in Antioch


v.27  During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

v.28  One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)

v.29  The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea.

v.30  This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.


[Passage Synopsis: The next phase of the growth of Antioch was prophets coming to them to bolster the ministry of the body there. One of them, Agabus, predicted a coming famine and the burgeoning church there decided to send financial help to the church in Judea by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. In these ways we see a lot of coming and going between the Christian churches.]



Continue to chapter 12