Front Page

Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: The Acts of the Apostles

(Return to New Testament Contents)


Frameworks: Acts 13


(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.1-3 Barnabas & Saul commissioned and sent off

v.4-12 On Cyprus

v.13-15 To Pisidian Antioch

v.16-41 Paul preaches in Pisidian Antioch

v.42-44 They continue on in Pisidian Antioch

v.45-52 The Jews reject the apostles



v.1-3 Barnabas & Saul commissioned and sent off


v.1  Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.

v.2  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

v.3  So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.


[Passage Synopsis: In the church in Antioch the ministries of prophets and teachers who had come there [as seen previously] headed up the times of worship, prayer and fasting, so that a word was received from heaven to send out Barnabas and Saul as missionaries of the gospel. Note at this stage Barnabas is clearly the leader of the two as we've seen him taking the initiative again and again so far – initially helping Saul be accepted in Jerusalem [9:27], later being sent to Antioch by the Jerusalem church [11:22] where he expands its ministry, then goes and bring Saul from Tarsus [11:25,26] where the two of them teach, then being sent with Saul to Jerusalem as a finance emissary [11:30] before returning to Antioch [12:25]. It is only after they start their ministry that under the Spirit's prompting, Saul takes the lead – see below]





v.4  The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

v.5  When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.

v.6,7  They travelled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.

v.8  But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.

v.9  Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,

v.10  “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?

v.11  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 mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.

v.12  When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.


[Passage Synopsis: They, [with John Mark as a helper] presumably led by the Spirit, make their way to Cyprus and start their preaching to Jews in the local synagogue. i.e. they start with religious people. It is there that Luke starts, instead of using Saul's Hebrew name, to using his Roman equivalent, Paul, as he is filled with the Spirit and takes the lead by rebuking a sorcerer who was hindering the local Roman delegate believing the gospel. But this man, seeing God's power believes it. From now on it is Paul leading.]



v.13-15 To Pisidian Antioch


v.13  From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.

v.14  From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down.

v.15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”


[Passage Synopsis: From Cyprus they sail back to the mainland of Asia Minor, and then travel some hundred miles north to the Antioch in the area of Pisidia where again they seek out the synagogue on the Sabbath. Again seeking the religious people who will have historical knowledge of God.]



v.16-41 Paul preaches in Pisidian Antioch


v.16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!


v.17-23 He explains Israel's history out of which Jesus came

v.17-19 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness; and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance.

v.20 All this took about 450 years. “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.

v.21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.

v.22  After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'

v.23 “From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Saviour Jesus, as he promised.


v.24-29 He explains the coming of Jesu, unrecognised by Israel

v.24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.

v.25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'

v.26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.

v.27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.

v.28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.

v.29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb.


v.30-37 He explains the resurrection

v.30,31 But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had travelled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

v.32,33 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “‘You are my son; today I have become your father.' [Psa 2:7]

v.34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,

“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.' [Isa 55:3]

v.35  So it is also stated elsewhere: “‘You will not let your holy one see decay.' [Psa 16:10]

v.36 “Now when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.

v.37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.


v.38-41 He concludes with the offer of forgiveness the Law couldn't give

v.38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

v.39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

v.40  Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

v.41  “‘Look, you scoffers,  wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe,  even if someone told you.' [Hab. 1:5]”


[Passage Synopsis: This is the first recorded sermon of Paul's given to Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, based on the history of Israel and salvation through Jesus as descended from David, a fulfilment of prophecies throughout the Old Testament but which present-day Israel failed to understand. Because of this they killed Jesus but he was raised from the dead, again in accordance with the prophetic scriptures. The result is the opportunity for forgiveness of sins. He concludes with a warning from the prophets not to reject this. To this religious community he uses the Law and, more specifically, the prophets to show that all that happened to Jesus was what God had spoken of beforehand.]



v.42-44 They continue on in Pisidian Antioch


v.42   As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath.

v.43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

v.44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.


[Passage Synopsis: This message creates a hunger in the people who want more.]



v.45-52 The Jews reject the apostles


v.45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him.

v.46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.

v.47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' [Isa 49:6]”

v.48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honoured the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

v.49  The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.

v.50  But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.

v.51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium.

v.52  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


[Passage Synopsis: First rejection by the Jews: However, the acclaim given by many people to what Paul had preached provokes jealousy in a number of the Jews who abused the apostles. This becomes a turning point and Paul rejects the unbelieving Jew and says he will go to the Gentiles. The Jewish leaders incite persecution against the apostles who leave for Iconium.]



Continue to chapter 14