Acts of the Apostles
Lesson 12 w/AnswersActs 13-14
In today’s study, Acts Chapters 13 and 14, we see the work of church approximately seventeen years after Christ’s resurrection, as Paul and Barnabas are commissioned as missionaries and sent on the first of three missionary journeys; spreading the gospel and building churches across the Roman Empire.
We have much to learn from this study about how the early church grew, about Paul’s testimony, about the gospel message, and how both the Jews and Gentiles reacted to it. Is there anything in this week’s study we can apply to the work of our local churches today?
Let’s read chapters 13 and 14 and answer the following questions to find out.
- After Paul and Barnabas are commissioned by the church at Antioch by the laying on of hands, they head to the island of Cyprus as their first stop. Where do they go when they arrive? (Acts 13:1-14)
- ANSWER: They go to the Jews in the synagogue.
- Read what Paul’s message was in 13:13-42. What does this illustrate to us about reaching the Jews around us?
- ANSWER 1: You can lead them to Christ just using the Old Testament.
- ANSWER 2: Some will believe; many will not.
- ANSWER 3: Paul quoted from material and scriptures that they all knew. Our challenge today is that many Jews are not familiar with scripture.
- While Paul’s message illustrates that you can lead someone to Christ with just the Old Testament, it also illustrates the use of several scripture references within a specific message; much the way we see pastors and evangelists use this same practice today. List the Old Testament reference that Paul used beside each of the following verses from Acts.
- Acts 13:22
- ANSWER: 1 Samuel 13:14
- Acts 13:33
- ANSWER: Psalm 2:7.
- Acts 13:34
- ANSWER: Isaiah 55:3
- Acts 13:35
- ANSWER: Psalm 16:10
- Acts 13:41
- ANSWER: Habakkuk 1:5
- Acts 13:22
- What was the reaction of the Jews to Paul’s message? (Acts 13:44)
- ANSWER: They wanted to hear more
- Why did the Jews later turn against them? (Acts 13:45)
- ANSWER: It was basic jealousy; they wanted the Gospel and its promises to be restricted to them as God’s chosen people, and not the Gentiles.
- What was Paul’s response in verses 46 and 47? Did he again use scripture?
- ANSWER: Yes; he used scripture to show them that God had prophesied that many Jews would reject Christ; and it was then that the message was to going to be extended to the Gentiles – just as God had intended from the beginning when he commissioned the Jews to be His witnesses.
- In verses 48 and 49, what was the reaction of the Gentiles, and what does it tell us about witnessing to people who are not Jewish and who do not know anything about the Bible?
- ANSWER 1: The truth of the Gospel is evident to all who choose Christ;
- ANSWER 2: God’s Word is powerful and accomplishes his purpose; and
- ANSWER 3: Salvation comes from hearing the Word of God.
- What happened in the synagogue at Iconium? (Acts 14:1)
- ANSWER: Many were excited about the good news and wanted to hear more.
- Did Paul and Barnabas stay long at Iconium? (Acts 14:2-3)
- ANSWER: Yes.
- Why did Paul and Barnabas flee Iconium? (Acts 14:4-6)
- ANSWER: The Jews had stirred up a crowd and were plotting to stone them.
- In Acts 14:7-13, Luke records that Paul heals a lame man in Lystra. What happens to Paul and Barnabas as a result of that healing?
- ANSWER: The citizens of Lystra, who don’t know God, think that Paul and Barnabas are gods and begin treating them as such.
- How do Paul and Barnabas react to this, as recounted in verses 14 thru 18?
- ANSWER: Without hesitation, they run from the crowd and deny that they are gods, giving God all the glory and attempting to teach them the truth.
- What happens to Paul at Lystra? (Acts 14:19-20)
- ANSWER: He is stoned and left for dead.
- In verse 20 of Acts 14, we see that after much work, success and persecution at Lystra and Iconium, they reach their final city, Derbe. After completing their work at Derbe, what do Paul and Barnabas then do? (Acts 14:20-25)
- ANSWER: They go right back through the cities that they were chased out of and stoned in; strengthening and encouraging all of the new churches and disciples that Christ had started as a result of their testimony. What a testimony that must have been to these fledgling churches to see the courage and conviction of these two missionaries.
- Having firmly established these churches, where do Paul and Barnabas go next and what do they do? (Acts 14:26-28)
- ANSWER: They return to the church at Antioch that had commissioned them and provide a full report of their journey.
- Do you think that these two chapters provide a model for how churches and missionary outreach can work, even today?
- ANSWER: Absolutely: this has to be one of the reasons that God included these chapters.
Have a great week everyone!