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Summary: A very obvious change may be observed here in the relations of Barnabas and Paul. Until now Barnabas has always occupied the first rank. It has been "Barnabas and Saul". But now the whole mission, including Barnabas, is described as “Paul and his company

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September 5, 2014

By: Tom Lowe

Title: Part-1 Pisidian Antioch: Paul's Sermon & the Reaction (13:13-52)

Part 1: verses 14-31

Part 2: verses 32-37

Part 3: verses 38-41

Part 4: verses 42-52

PART 1: VERSES 14-31

Introduction

When we get together for the purpose of worshipping God, we must do it, not only by prayer and praise, but by the reading and hearing of the word of God. The mere reading of the Scriptures in public assemblies is not enough; they should be explained and sometimes illustrated, and the people should be encouraged by it. This is helping people to do that which is necessary to make the word profitable, that is, to apply it to themselves. Everything mentioned in this sermon, should encourage the Jews to receive and embrace Christ as the promised Messiah. Paul’s message moves from David to the Son of David, and shows that Jesus Christ is his promised Seed; that He is a Saviour who can do for them that which Israel’s judges could not do—save them from their sins. When the apostles preached Christ as the Saviour, they always preached Christ crucified. Our complete separation from sin, is represented by our being buried with Christ. But He rose again from the dead, and saw no corruption: this was the great truth to be preached. And every view of the Lord's dealings with his church, regardless of how brief or vague, reminds us of His mercy and long-suffering, and of man's ingratitude and disobedience.

Commentary

13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos

“Now when Paul and his company”—literally, those around or with the Apostle Paul—Barnabas and John—and perhaps others who had been converted at Paphos; for it was common for many of the converts to Christianity to accompany the apostles in their travels—“Which when the brothers knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus” (Acts 9:3O).

A very obvious change may be observed here in the relations of Barnabas and Paul. Until now Barnabas has always occupied the first rank. It has been "Barnabas and Saul" (Acts 11:30; Acts 12:25; verses 2, 7). But now the whole mission, including Barnabas, is described as “Paul and his company,” and from this day forward it is usually "Paul and Barnabas" (verses. 43, 46, 50; Acts 15:2, 22, 35); though in Acts 14:14 and Acts 15:12, 25, the old order is retained. This phrase—“Paul and his company—was probably chosen to indicate the new position which the Apostle began at this time to occupy as the leader of the mission to the Gentiles. Hereafter the Apostle of the Gentiles becomes the central figure in nearly every scene of the Acts. The beauty of Barnabas's character can be seen in his cheerful acquiescence in this change of relative position, and his single-minded devotion to the success of the work.

“Paphos”(also known as"urbs maritima") was a city on the sea coast of the island of Cyprus; it was on the western part of the island, to the west of which lay the sea of Pamphylia, over which the apostle and his company sailed to the placementioned next, which was in Pamphylia. It is said that one Apollonius Tyaneus, having got a ship at Seleucia, sailed to Paphos in Cyprus; and from there the apostle, and those that were with him, set sail for “Perga in Pamphylia,” which is mentioned in Acts 27:5—“And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.” [Lycia was a province in the southwestern part of Asia Minor, having Phrygia and Pisidia on the north, the Mediterranean on the south, Pamphylia on the east, and Carla on the west.]

“Loosed from Paphos”—better “Departed from Paphos.”

“They came to Perga in Pamphylia,”which was a country formerly called “Mopsopia; which now, along with Cilicia, is called Caramania; and Perga was one of its cities. A famous temple of Diana was there, consequently, she was sometimes called Pergea; and every year a great feast was held there in honour of her; consequently, many priests and others, whose interest and honor depended upon their maintaining the worship of that idol, and who, no doubt, were very offended by these foreign teachers, for presuming to find fault with the gods of the country, and with the worship that was paid to them. “Perga” was situated between two great rivers, Oestros and Catarctes. Perga was the capital and metropolis of Pamphylia, and was situated about seven and a half miles inland, on the river Cestrus, which is navigable. There was a constant interaction between Paphos the capital of Cyprus, and Perga the capital of Pamphylia, fostered probably by the two famous temples of Venus and Diana. The absence of any record of evangelizing work there is probably due to the fact that there were no synagogues, and that the Apostles in this mission adhered to the plan of preaching at first to the Jews, and making the synagogue, as it were, their base of operations. They did preach in Perga on their return visit, which is mentioned in Acts 14:25—“And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia.”

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