Summary: This is an account of the first Missionary Journey and the 16th sermon in the Book of Acts
The First Missionary Journey
Acts Chapter 13-14
Acts # 16
In these chapters we will find the starting of the first foreign mission broad. The church at Antioch was getting ready to send out missionaries through out the world. They were taking the great commission very seriously.
The Missionaries they were sending were Paul and Barnabas. John Mark went along as a helper to them. Antioch was the Richmond of the First Century Church. (Richmond being where the SBC International headquarters area located.) They were going to send these men out to reach the world for Christ.
Here we can see if a church is going to grow it needs to get into the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A Church that has ceased to do Missions has ceased being a Church. A missionary that has ceased preaching the Gospel has ceased being a missionary. We need to set apart people to do missionary work, just as we set apart people to be Deacons and Pastors. That is just what the church at Antioch did.
I. The setting apart of the Servants:
A. There were many servants to choose from.
NOTE: These were the leaders of the church in Antioch. Prophets were people that could 1) tell of a future event. 2) Speaking an inspired word from God for the edification and direction of the community. These were the main function of a prophet in the times of the church.
B. The names of the leaders:
1. Barnabas: we know a lot about him.
2. Simon called Niger: We do not know much about Simeon, we do know that he was probably Black because the Niger is the Latin word for Black.
3. Lucius of Cyrene:
NOTE: Some say that this is Luke the companion of Paul but there is not enough evidence to support this. And the name Luke and Lucius are different. The Greek for Luke and the Latin for lucius are different. We do not know anything about Lucius.
NOTE: We know from the text that he was brought up with Herod the tetrarch: This Herod is the Herod of Luke 3:1 He was the ruler of Galilee and of Acts 4:27. The term brought up together literal means someone suckled by the same nurse as a baby, after it came to mean someone "reared together". If this was the case with Manaen he was of considerable social standing, a courtier and childhood companion of the king.
NOTE: This means that he church was reaching into all facets of life.
5. Saul: Saul we know about.
C. The Command of the Holy Spirit:
1. The time of the command:
a. They were ministering to the Lord. This means they were Worshiping the Lord.
b. They were fasting.
NOTE: Fasting is something that is not done as it should be in our times
2. The command given: Set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work his I have given them.
NOTE: See Acts 9:15. God had set apart Saul from all eternity to proclaim His message to the Gentiles. This tells me that God has a purpose for every one and a job for every one to do, if we submit to him.
D. The commissioning of the two.
1. They fasted.
2. They prayed.
3. They laid on hands.
4. They sent them away.
II. The Missionary Journey.
A. They went to Seleucia.
B. They went to Cyprus.
C. They went to Salamis. It was here they began to preach.
1. They preached first in the Synagogues.
2. We see that John was their helper or servant.
NOTE: Salamis is on the Island of Cyprus and had a very large Jewish population.
D. They went to Paphos:
NOTE: Paphos was a new city ninety miles west of Salamis. It was the seat of the Roman government for the Island.
1. The introduction of a false prophet: Bar-Jesus
a. He was an attendant of the Proconsul. The proconsul was Sergius Paulas.
b. He opposed Paul and Barnabas.
c. His name was Elymas.
d. He was a Magician.
NOTE: This word magos was used most commonly as one that was a charlatan, a trickster, a claimant to false powers. Romans were intrigued by these types of people and most of them were very educated people that could fool many.
e. His fate was blindness:
NOTE: Paul as we see here for the first time. Saul also known as Paul told him he was full of deceit and fraud and that he was the son of the Devil, enemy of righteousness. And that he was going to not stop trying to harm the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul told him he was going to be blind and have to be led around for some time.