Completion of Paul’s First Journey
Text: Acts 13:44-14:28
I. Excitement filled Antioch in Pisidia as the next Sabbath Day approached.
A. Nearly the whole city turned out to hear Paul’s message.
B. This filled the local Jews’ hearts with jealousy
1. They never were able to draw such a crowd.
2. They began contradicting Paul and saying blasphemous things – typical reactions of people who cannot meet the truth.
C. This reaction did not dismay Paul or Barnabas.
1. They announced that they had come to the Jews first since they had the Old Testament
2. But since they were rejecting the message, they would go to the Gentiles
3. The Jews had condemned themselves out of heaven.
4. Paul even pointed out that the Old Law predicted this in Isaiah 49:6
D. This decision pleased the Gentiles who were used to the Jews looking down their noses at them.
1. Many believers arose among their number.
2. As each in turn taught others, the word of the Lord spread through the whole region.
E. In retaliation, the Jews influenced the leading citizens to persecute the believers and to drive Paul and Barnabas out of the city
II. Paul and Barnabas simply moved on to Iconium where the disciples continued to worship in joy
A. They went to the synagogue in Iconium and converted a great number to Christianity.
B. This again stir up the anger of the disbelieving Jews, causing a great division not only among Jews, but also among Gentiles
C. Paul and Barnabas continued to speak and they were accompanied by miraculous signs which showed the Lord’s support for them
1. The result was that the city became further divided.
2. Paul and Barnabas were mistreated and were stoned.
III. They fled then to the area of Lystra and Derbe and continued to preach
A. In Lystra was a man who was born lame. He never walked in his life.
1. Paul saw his belief and commanded him to stand up.
2. He not only stood, he leaped up and began to walk!
3. The crowds decided that Paul and Barnabas must be gods – Zeus and Hermes in particular.
a. They even when so far as to fetch priests to offer sacrifices to them.
4. This strongly distressed these God-fearing men.
a. They tore their clothes (a sign of distress)
b. They ran among the people asking why they were doing these things seeing they were ordinary men
c. Their message was from the true God. They themselves were not gods.
B. Paul’s sermon
1. God created the world
2. As the years passed, the nations separated and when their own ways – making up their own religions
3. While God allowed this to happen, he left witnesses to His glory and still gave the people rains and harvests even though they had left him.
C. Even with all these words, it was hard to stop the people once they had their minds made up.
D. The upset left an opening for Jews who had followed Paul from Antioch and Iconium.
1. They convinced the people to hate Paul and Barnabas
2. This too happens. When people go to one extreme, it is often followed by an extreme in the exact opposite.
3. They stoned Paul and dragged what they thought was his dead body out of the city.
E. The disciples gathered around Paul’s body, but then he awoke and returned to Lystra.
IV. From here he moved to Derbe with Barnabas where again many became Christians
A. They then worked their way back the way they came, going to Lystra, Iconium, and then to Antioch to encourage the brethren there.
B. They told them that there would be tribulations as people opposed their entering the kingdom of God.
C. They also appointed elders in the churches, whose job would be to watch over the souls of these Christians.
D. They continued in the Pisidia region and from there went to Perga in Pamphylia continuing to preach
V. In the town of Attalia they caught a ship and sailed back to Antioch in Syria.
A. There they reported to the brethren the result of their journey as it was the brethren in Antioch who initiated and supported their trip.
B. They continued in Antioch with the brethren for a long time.