"Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And 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. (NKJV)
And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: 'I will give you the sure mercies of David.' Therefore He also says in another Psalm: 'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.' "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: 'Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.'"
Blessing and Conflict at Antioch
So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: "I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'"
Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)
In the first part of the Book of Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas was chosen by the Holy Ghost to go into Asia Minor and evangelize. It earmarked the beginning of Paul’s 3 missionary journeys throughout this region. Once opposed by a now blind sorcerer and false prophet name Elymas and leading the procounsul Sergei Palus to Christ in Cyprus, the two of them arrived in Antioch of Pisidia.
Once they got there, Paul and Barnabas went to worship in the Temple in Antioch on the Sabbath where after the reading of the Law, the worship leaders of the temple asked them if they had words of exaltation they wished to share with the congregation. Paul chose to speak and use this opportunity to share the Good News about Jesus Christ. In verse 16, Paul started out by sharing with the congregation a brief history of their ancestor’s relationship with God the Father and why Christ came and how their forefathers rejected Jesus as Messiah and tying the history to where the people who walked in darkness was. At first, after hearing that Jesus Christ was the only way they could be justified in the sight of God and not the Law of Moses, many of the Jews and religious proselytes believed the Gospel and asked Paul and Barnabas to return the next Sabbath. Paul and Barnabas in response persuaded or strongly encouraged them to continue in the grace of God. What a difference a week makes!
Part Two continues the storyline in chapter 13 as Paul continues to take the congregation on a historic walk back in time to ultimately preach Jesus Christ to them as the promised Messiah that was crucified by their religious leaders and approved by them. Paul also shows them that on every Sabbath in the synagogue, when they are reading the scriptures (Old Testament) they read how the prophets of the Old Testament foretold that Jesus would be rejected and condemned by the leaders.
The Crucifixion of Jesus: The Prophetic Fulfillment Of Isaiah Chapter 53 and Psalms 22
(Acts 13 verses 26-52) (Part Two)
From verses 26 through 29, Paul first addresses the congregation as the "stock" of Abraham and includes any Gentiles or proselytes that were present. (as the Gentiles would have been on the outside of the sanctuary yet able to hear and see Paul from a distance) Paul revealed the following truths about Jesus and the Jews in general:
Paul addresses the native Jews who lay claim to be the seed of Abraham that the following Gospel message is especially to them, but also to every proselyte that fear Yahweh (Jehovah). Jesus, is the Messiah they were reading about on the Sabbath in the temple, yet didn’t realize it. (vs. 26)
Paul wanted them to know that the words of inspiration he shared with them is to let them know everything he shared with is to share the message of salvation that Jesus is the Messiah, the very one who was crucified but now lives. Paul also told them the Gospel was presented to the Jews first because Jesus was promised to them first . As an important note, Paul in the presentation of the Gospel reveals 30 Major Doctrines.
The following are the 30 Doctrines Paul preached to the Jews and Gentiles.
1. The Word of God, the gospel, and the faith are the same (Acts 13:5-8; 14:7).
2. Children of Satan and enemies of God are unsaved (Acts 13:10; 1 John 3:10).
3. Christianity, a religion of miracles (Acts 13:11; 14:3-10; 15:12; 19:11; Mark 16:15-20; John 14:12; Hebrews 2:3-4)
4. Christianity judges rebels (Acts 13:11; 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians:19-20; 5:5).
5. People must revere God (Acts 13:16; Luke 12:5).
6. Israel, a chosen people (Acts 13:17)
7. The history of Israel is true (Acts 13:17-22)
8. Jesus Christ, David's seed (Acts 13:22-23)
9. Jesus Christ, the promised Savior (Acts 13:23-41; Matthew 1:18-25; 8:17; Luke 2)
10. Messiah announced (Acts 13:24-25)
11. Salvation is only for believers (Acts 13:26,38-39; John 3:15-20; Romans 10:9-17).
12. Four main points to gospel salvation:
(1) Death of Christ (Acts 13:28-29)
(2) Burial of Christ (Acts 13:29)
(3) Physical resurrection of Christ (Acts 13:30; Luke 24:29; John 21:14, note)
(4) Physical manifestations of Christ (Acts 13:31; John 21:14, note). See 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 for the same 4 points
13. Jesus Christ fulfilled prophecy (Acts 13:32-41; Luke 24:44; John 5:39; Matthew 5:17).
14. Faith in the physical resurrection of Christ is essential to salvation of the soul (Acts 13:32-39; 1 Corinthians 15:12-23).
15. Christ, God's Son (Acts 13:33-37; Luke 1:35; Hebrews 1:5-7; Matt 1:18-25)
16. Christ's body saw no corruption, but was resurrected (Acts 13:34-37; Luke 24:39).
17. In Christ alone is there forgiveness (Acts 13:38; Matt 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Col 1:20).
18. Justification for all by faith in Christ (Acts 13:39; Rom 3:21-31; 5:1)
19. The law of Moses cannot justify anyone (Acts 13:39; Rom 3:21-31; Gal 3:19-29; 4:21-31; Col 2:14-17; Hebrews 7:10).
20. Israel's rebellion predicted (Acts 13:40-41; Matt 21:33-46; Rom 9:11)
21. One must continue in grace and faith to be saved (Acts 13:43; 14:22; Gal 1:6; 5:4; Hebrews 3:6,12-14; 6:4-9; 10:26-29)
22. Eternal life conditional (Acts 13:46-48; Mark 10:29-30; note, John 6:27)
23. The gospel is for both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 13:46-47; Rom 1:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13)
24. Christians should be full of joy and the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:9,52; John 7:39)
25. Healing by faith (Acts 14:3,8-10; 1 Peter 2:24; James 5:14-16; John 10:10)
26. Conversion necessary (Acts 14:15; Matt 18:3; John 3:1-8; Acts 3:19)
27. God is Creator of all (Acts 14:15).
28. Material blessings confirm God's love (Acts 14:17; Matt 7:7-11; 3 John 2).
29. Christians must suffer tribulation (Acts 14:22; Rom 5:1-11; 2 Tim 3:12).
30. One must enter the kingdom of God to be saved (Acts 14:22; John 3:1-5)
(Taken from Dakes Annotated Reference Bible © 2007 by Dakes Publishing. All rights reserved in U.S.A. and Other Countries.)
Paul further stated:
Your ancestors were blinded by both pride and prejudice, and preconceived opinions. They didn’t understand the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah and acted in ignorance that day when they condemned Jesus Christ and sentenced him to die by crucifixion. (vs. 27)
Note: A lot of times, People often read the Bible for a good part of their lives and never come to understand it. In the case of the Israelites, their ancestors in Jerusalem didn’t realize that by condemning HIM and putting Jesus to death that the prophesy foretelling his death was accomplished by them.
Remember, they had no legal grounds to have him killed. The Sanhedrin accused Jesus of blasphemy , but couldn’t substantiate it, and knew Pilate would not carry out their wishes on that charge, so they changed the charge in the Roman court to sedition against Rome and the Emperor, nevertheless, they desired that Pilate would pronounce a death sentence on him. Pilate granted their desire. (vs. 28)
When everything was fulfilled by them that was written in prophecy concerning Jesus’ death, they then took him off the cross and buried Jesus in a sepulcher. (vs. 29)
The Resurrection of Jesus: “Witnessed by Many” (Post Resurrection)
God raised Jesus from the dead. (vs. 30)
This further proved that Jesus was innocent and had done nothing worthy of death.
From Galilee to Jerusalem, many people saw him alive. (vs. 31)
Not only was Jesus seen by many over a period of 40 days, Jesus during that time spoke to many concerning the Kingdom of God.
Paul further declared:
"We’ve declared unto you the ‘good news” that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise God made to the forefathers and the way He lived and dies was foretold by the prophets of Old (Isaiah) (vs. 32)
The Resurrection of Jesus: Confirmed by the Fulfillment of Prophecy (verses 33-37)
"God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus". As it is also written in the second Psalm:
'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: 'I will give you the sure mercies of David.'* Therefore He also says in another Psalm: 'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption." In the 33rd verse, the 14th Old Testament prophecy is fulfilled in the following words God (Jehovah) said: “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee”.
"Therefore He also says in another Psalm: 'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.'
"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption". (vs. 35-37)
This verse ( vs. 33) could not and does not refer to David, because in verses 35 through 37: David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep (died) and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption. That is his physical body remained in the grave and returned to dust. (from dust thou art and to dust thou shall return). David served in his own age, and saw God. But HE, (that is Jesus) whom God raised again, saw no corruption. This means Jesus was raised without undergoing the usual change that succeeds death, as opposed to David had returned to corruption, (the natural process of death concerning the soul, spirit and body of a person) and the Lord Jesus had not, it followed that this passage in Psalms 16 referred to the Messiah:
"Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips".
"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalms 16 (NIV)
Important Doctrinal Note:
This declaration from God in the 33rd verse refers to the incarnation of Jesus Christ when HE, the second person of the Divine Trinity fashioned himself in a human body (John 1:14) to redeem men from SIN. As far as the existence of God goes, from HIS origin, the person we now know of as Jesus Christ, who is also God had no beginning, (Jesus said it: Before Abraham was, I AM). was not begotten, was not a Son, and did not come into being. He has always existed as God!
Scripture references: (Psalms 90:2; Micah 5:2; John 1:1-2; Hebrews 1:8).
But as man (a human being born through child birth, conceived by the Holy Spirit) the “man” Christ Jesus” was not eternal. The “man” (the “Christ- child) had a beginning. He was born of the Holy Spirit and birthed through Mary. and as a man was subject to the same temptations and trial of men, yet Jesus was never guilty of sin..
Paul now concludes: Acts 13:38-39
Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
In concluding these words of inspiration, Paul lets the congregation know that Jesus is Messiah and shares with them the benefits they will receives from His death, burial and resurrection:
Repentance: That is, being sorry for your sins and forsaking the life of sin. This would apply to every nation because everybody in every nation has sinned and come short of the glory of Jehovah (Yahweh). Therefore the Gospel is to preach in all nations for a witness.
Remission of sins: This means God will pardon or forgive your sins. It should be proclaimed that all people should repent, and that those who are penitent may be pardoned.
In my (Jesus') name: By the command of Jesus Christ, in the proclamation of the Gospel, it should be proclaimed that people should repent, and by my (Jesus') merit that they may be pardoned. Pardon is offered by the authority of Christ to every nations, This warrants the preaching and teaching of the Gospel to every race, color, creed,, without discrimination.
Beginning at Jerusalem: This was the dwelling of his murderers, and it shows his readiness to forgive the vilest sinners. It was the holy place of the Temple, the habitation of God, the place of the solemnities of the ancient dispensation, and it was proper that pardon should be first proclaimed there. This was done-the gospel was first preached there. Paul in his travels, preached the gospel "first" to the Jews, the ancient people of God, offering them pardon through their own Messiah; and, when "they" rejected it, turned to the Gentiles.
Warning to All Unbelievers: Acts 13:40-41
"Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: 'Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you".
Paul issues a warning to those who refuse to believe the truth. Paul admonishes them not to be the ones of whom the prophets of old spoke of who would suffer great punishment and experience great calamities (Great tribulation) He wanted those who persisted in holding on to their present belief concerning the coming of the Messiah that Jesus Christ was the one they were looking for and the only Messiah there will ever be for this world. He said it would behoove them to accept the Gospel account and embrace the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. The "warning" is found in Habakkuk 1:5:
"Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told".
Barnes Commentary Note on Habakkuk 1:5:
The original design of the threatening was to announce the destruction that would come upon the nation by the Chaldeans. The original threatening was fulfilled. But it was as applicable to the Jews in the time of Paul as in the time of Habakkuk. The principle of the passage is, that if they held in contempt the doings of God, they would perish.
The work which God was to do by means of the Chaldeans was so fearful, so unusual, and so remarkable, that they would not believe it in time to avoid the calamity. In the same way, the manner in which God gave the Messiah was so little in accordance with their expectation, that they might see it, yet disbelieve it; that they might have the fullest proof, and yet despise it; that they might wonder, and be amazed and astonished, and yet refuse to believe it, and be destroyed.
Paul says that God in that time might bring upon the nation similar calamities. By rejecting the Messiah and his gospel, and by persevering in wickedness, they would bring upon themselves the destruction of the temple, the city, and the nation. (This actually did occur in 70 A.D.)The Temple was destroyed and the Jews as a nation was desecrated and those who survive by fleeing the city were scattered abroad. Many lives were lost because of their unbelief and the fierce fighting against the establishing of Christian churches throughout the region.
According to Barnes Commentary, there are at least 5 important lessons we can learn from Acts 13:41:
(1) People may be greatly amazed and impressed by the doings or works of God, and yet be destroyed.
(2) People may possess a prejudice so obstinate that even a divine revelation will not won't bring them to remove it.
(3) The "false" security of sinners will not save them.
(4) There are people who will not believe in the possibility of their being lost, though it be declared by prophets, by apostles called preachers, teachers, witnesses, by the Savior, and by God. They will still remain with a false sense of security, and suffer nothing to alarm or rouse them. But........
(5) As the false sense of security of the Jew furnished no safety against the Babylonians or the Romans, it is equally as true that the indifference and unconcern of sinners will not provide them any security against the dreadful wrath of God.
Sadly, there are multitudes of nations and people who live amidst the displays of God's power and mercy in the redemption of sinners, and who witness the effects of his goodness and truth in revivals of religion, yet who continue to live to despise all of it's display, being amazed and confounded by it; and who ultimately perish.
Blessings and Conflict at Antioch: (verses 44-52)
Saved Jews and Proselytes: "Preach to Us Next Week" (vs. 42-43)
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. (verse 42)
The meaning here is when that part of the Jews who were in that congregation refused to believe the Gospel and by hardening their hearts against Jesus left with their eyes and heart spiritually closed, thus fulfilling the prophesy The other Jews in the assembly that did believe, and were saved, along with the believing Gentiles asked Paul and Barnabas to come back next Sabbath and preach to them again.
Scholar Matthew Henry made the following analogy in his Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible:
"There were some of the Jews that were so incensed against the preaching of the gospel, not to the Gentiles, but to themselves, that they would not bear to hear it, but went out of the synagogue while Paul was preaching (v. 42), in contempt of him and his doctrine, and to the disturbance of the congregation. It is probable they whispered among themselves, exciting one another to it, and did it by consent".
Now this bespoke,
1. An "open infidelity", as plain a profession of unbelief as coming to hear the gospel is of faith.
"They publicly avowed their contempt of Christ and of his doctrine and law, were not ashamed, neither could they blush; and they endeavored to create prejudices in the minds of others against the gospel, so they went out to draw others to follow their pernicious ways"
2. An obstinate infidelity.
"They went out of the synagogue, not only to show that they did not believe the gospel, but because they were resolved they would not, and therefore got out of the hearing of those things that had a tendency to convince them. They stopped their ears like the deaf adder. Therefore, it was justified that the gospel was taken from them, when they first took themselves from it, and turned themselves out of the church before they were turned out of it".
Matthew Henry's point: For it is certainly true that God never leaves anybody untill they first leave him.
Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. (verse 43)
The very next Sabbath, when nearly the whole city came to hear the Word of God, the same Jews who heard the Word gladly last week now have a totally different attitude. The Scriptures said in Acts 13:44-52:
On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. (vs. 44-45)
These Jews could not bear to worship with and fellowship the Gentiles, who believed in Christ, and now because of salvation in Jesus Christ were to be treated in equality with the Gentiles, who they despised and saw as heathens, and yet, according to the Gospel salvation brought about equality among the believers regardless of their race. Secondly, the "Judaizers" who rejected the Gospel message were so incensed that dared to preach such a doctrine that in their view posed a threat to their religious beliefs. So, these rebellious Jews responded in opposition the following ways:
a. Even though they had professed Jesus Christ themselves, their hatred and prejudice concerning the Gentiles was so great, they disavowed their new relationship with Jesus Christ and blaspheme His name and the Christian religion..
They spoke of Jesus with contempt and with scorn and denounced Him as being Messiah, as well as how the Messiah would come to His people. They now refused to believe that the Messiah would be lowly, despised and put to death and reverted back to the misbelief that the Messiah would come as a warrior, a rich man with an army to overthrow the Roman Empire.
b. Second, they openly contradicted the Apostles teachings, attempting to stir up strife and a hostile religious environment.
The Apostolic Response: "Since You Have Rejected Christ " (verses 46-47)
Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: 'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Both Paul and Barnabas (under the power of the Holy Spirit spoke boldly unafraid and not alarmed by their response::
"It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you." We had an obligation to present the gospel to our countrymen first because we were waiting for the Messiah to come. He came in Jesus Christ and yet, you rejected the truth. God sent you to bring the "light" of the gospel to the Gentiles. (the same charge God gave the Israelites from the Exodus out of Egypt) So, "since you have rejected the WORD of God and by your own conduct against the WORD have judged yourselves unworthy (unfit to be saved) of everlasting life, WE now turn to the Gentiles". That is we will now offer the gospel to the Gentiles and seek their salvation.
There are 3 important things we can take from this exchange:
(1) When people, even once, deliberately and solemnly reject the offers of God's mercy, it greatly endangers their salvation. Sometimes, the first rejection can lead to many rejections and ultimately, some may never yield to accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior.
(2) The gospel produces an effect wherever it is preached. The WORD of God never returns unto HIM void, but always accomplishes the task God sets out for HIS WORD to accomplish. This means whether a person accepts the WORD or rejects the WORD, the gospel message accomplished a response and an effect upon those who heard the message.
(3) When a sinner heart is hardened, and spurn the gospel, often times it the be duty of ministers to turn their efforts toward others where they may have more prospect of success. In fact, Jesus told the disciples to "shake the dust from off their feet and go to the next town. The sad truth is not everyone you preach to is going to accept the invitation of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The people’s “end response” in Antioch of Pisidia was 2-fold: (vs. 48-49)
The Gentiles rejoiced that from the mouths of Jews themselves they now heard a different doctrine. They glorified the word of the Lord. They honored it as a message from God; they recognized and received it as the Word of God.
The Gentiles were glad and glorified the WORD of the Lord because all of them who believed that Jesus is the Messiah were now saved and had eternal life and instantly became disciples and witnesses and began to spread the WORD all throughout the region.
But the Jews......... (vs. 50-51)
The Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
The Jews, now indignant and becoming rude and violent incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, accused them of creating a great disturbance. It is likely that these were pagan matrons, who had become proselytes to the Jewish religion; and, as they were persons of affluence and respectability, they had considerable influence with the civil magistracy of the place, and probably their husbands were of this order; and it is likely that they used that influence, at the instigation of the Jews, to get the apostles expelled from the place.
In verse 51, Paul and Barnabas responded by shaking the dust off their feet and left Antioch and travel to their next destination: Iconium.
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Dr. William Edward Boddie