Summary: Paul and Barnabas are sent out from Antioch.
Paul and Barnabas – Sent Servants
Acts 12:20 – 13:13
Jeff Hughes – August 24, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
The United States Marine Corps has a slogan that they have used for quite a while. I’m sure you’ve heard it. “We’re looking for a few good men.” But, did you know that God is looking for people too?
In 2nd Chronicles, chapter 6, verse 9, we read - the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him
Isaiah saw the Lord in a vision, and heard the Lord saying these words – “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Isaiah’s reply is one of eager obedience - "Here am I! Send me."
This is a man that would be faithful to the Lord throughout his whole life. He is by far the most quoted of the prophets in the New Testament, because of his messianic prophecies. He was faithful to the Lord that had sent him until his death around 700, when he would be sawn in half, at the order of the evil king Manasseh.
Today, we will see God sending out more faithful servants, Barnabas and Paul. We last saw Paul and Barnabas two weeks ago, as they ministered to the church at Antioch, and taught God’s Word there. The people in Antioch were encouraged and strengthened by God’s Word. When they heard about a famine that would sweep over the ancient Middle East, they decided to send aid to the church at Jerusalem.
Saul and Barnabas may well have been in Jerusalem for the events that we saw last week, the killing of the apostle James, and the imprisonment and miraculous release of Peter.
But today, we will see Paul and Barnabas again in action. Before we get into our study though, let’s go before the Lord and ask His blessing on our message today. Let’s pray.
The history of missionary efforts in Tahiti is interesting to say the least. For fifteen years there was not a convert. The London Missionary Society seriously debated recalling their missionaries and giving their efforts to some other fields. After an earnest debate, it was decided to continue the work and letters were sent to the missionaries telling them of the decision. Now, a vessel sailed from London for Tahiti containing letters to the missionaries telling them to go on despite the seeming lack of fruit from their labor. At the same time a vessel sailed from Tahiti for London, and they passed each other in mid-ocean. On the London bound ship there were letters from the missionaries to the Society in London saying that a great revival had spread over Tahiti, that the idol temples were destroyed and that the idol gods were surrendered, and those gods were on that vessel on their way to London where they are now to be seen in the Missionary Society museum.
Our study in Acts today marks another transition for the early church. The gospel has been spread to Judea and Samaria, and now, as we close chapter 12, and pick up chapter 13, we will see the gospel start to be carried to the ends of the earth. Our focus shifts from the apostle Peter to the apostle Paul.
Our passage is Acts chapter 12 verse 20 through chapter 13, verse 13. There’s a place for you to take notes in your bulletin if you would like, and if you need a Bible, just raise your hand. Acts is right past John in the New Testament, and just before Romans.
Follow along with me as we read.
20 Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king’s country. 21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. 22 And the people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" 23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died. 24 But the word of God grew and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant. 6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord. 13 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.