Read Acts Chapter 13
For a printable version of this study, click HERE.
What stands out to you as you read this chapter?
Are there any words or phrases that you feel are key ideas in this chapter?
What other features do you wish you knew more about (culture, religion, customs, etc.) in order to help
you understand this chapter?
How do you think this chapter fits in the larger story of Acts and the Bible as a whole?
ACT OUT: How does the Holy Spirit want to use this text in your life, for others or for yourself?
It’s easy to get bogged down in long passages of what seems to be repetitive storytelling. Why give us
Paul’s whole message in this long, 52-verse chapter? Luke wants his readers to hear and experience the
way Paul presented the gospel to Jews in synagogues, which was his practice when he went to a new city
to preach. (See chapters 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 28.) Paul’s address to the Jews in Pisidian Antioch—a
town near the region where Paul grew up in modern-day Turkey—is rich with biblical insight.
As Peter preached in Acts 3:26 and Paul would later put it, the gospel (good news) is meant for Jews first,
then for the nations (Romans 1:16-17). But the promise to the nations was always imbedded in Israel’s
story! (See the promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3.) The crucifixion / resurrection / ascension of Jesus
was the event that fulfilled Old Testament prophecy (Acts 13:26-37) and restored the righteous rule of
King David’s throne, extending that reign to a worldwide people. Most of the Jews accepted this
message, but some of the leaders became jealous, so that even as Paul and Barnabas sought a new
audience for the gospel among Gentiles (“nations”), prophecy was being fulfilled (Acts 13:46-49).
This was the first of three “missionary journeys” the Apostle Paul would take. John Mark, who started on
the journey with them, is the author of the Gospel of Mark. We find out later Paul sent him home, and
that decision would create tension between Paul and Barnabas. All of it worked out for the progress of
Prayer: Lord, in your grace you have chosen to include me among your people, and through the gift of
Jesus’ salvation, I have eternal life! Let me not keep this message to myself! Help me to be a witness to
Jesus, the Jewish Messiah and a light to the Gentiles.