Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Paul’s First Missionary Journey

Acts 11:19-30; 13-14

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16

Opening Prayer

Persecutor to Promoter (Acts 7-9)
    When is the first we hear of Saul? = Young man - thought to be in his 20s
      Acts 7:54-58 = He stood and watched the Jews stone Stephen
    Was Saul just a bystander to Stephen's stoning or was he involved in any way?
      Acts 7:59-8:1a = He had at least seen the Sanhedrin trial to approve of Stephen's death
    How did Saul react to what he had seen from these Jesus followers, and why?
      Acts 26:4-5, 9-11 = Focused on everything he could do to oppose this cult of Jesus
    How was Saul’s focus significantly changed?
      Acts 26:12-18 = He was personally called by Jesus to take the gospel to the world

    How did Saul respond to this change in plans?
      Acts 9:20-22 = He immediately began preaching the gospel to Jews in Damascus
    What happened after preaching 3 years in Damascus and the surrounding area? = Galatians 1:18
      Acts 9:23, 25 = Jews tried to kill this troublemaker, he escaped at night
    Where did he go and how was he received? = Galatians 1:18 - Stayed only 15 days
      Acts 9:26-28 = To Jerusalem - Disciples were afraid, but Barnabas spoke up for him
    Why did he leave after only 15 days? = Galatians 2:1 = Stayed in Tarsus 13 years
      Acts 9:29-30 = Jews tried to kill him - Went home to Tarsus

God’s Church Growth (Acts 1:8)
    What was God’s plan for this new church?
      Acts 1:8 = Believers spread gospel from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the ends of earth
    How well did the early believers respond to this calling?
      Acts 5:42 = They witnessed, but stayed mainly in Jerusalem
    How did God intervene to complete His plan despite the believers’ stationary approach?
      Acts 8:1, 4-5, 14 = Persecution scattered to Judea & Samaria, word spread, church learned
    How did God intervene to push the believers to the ends of the earth?
      Acts 11:1-5a, 9, 15, 17-18 = Pushed Peter to witness to Gentile Cornelius, became believer

A New Church Center for the Greeks (Acts 11:19-24)
    How effective were the believers who had been scattered by the persecution?
      Acts 11:19 = They spread the gospel very far, but only to Jews
    Did anyone understand that “God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life”?
      Acts 11:20-21 = Yes, some from Cyprus & Cyrene brought non-Jews to Jesus
    How did the mother church in Jerusalem react when word arrived of Gentile believers?
      Acts 11:22-24 = They sent one of their best to help and to pastor the new church

Help (Acts 11:24-30)
    Antioch - 3rd largest city in Roman empire (after Rome & Alexandria), over 500,000 population
      Called "Antioch-on-the-Orontes" since on Orontes River, also Syrian Antioch
        Seleucus Nicator established 16 Antiochs around 300 BC in memory of his father
      300 miles north of Jerusalem, 20 miles east of Mediterranean Sea, 80 miles from Tarsus
    What did Barnabas do when he saw that he needed help in this large city? = First called Christians
      Acts 11:25-26 = He found Saul in Tarsus and brought him to Antioch
    Why does this verse say their ministry only lasted a year?
      Acts 11:27-30 = Barnabas and Saul went to Jerusalem with gifts for a famine

John - Mark (Acts 12:25)
    Who else returned with Barnabas and Saul from Jerusalem to Antioch?
      Acts 12:15 = John (Hebrew name), also called Mark (Roman name)
    How do we see that John-Mark was well acquainted with Peter and the Jerusalem church?
      Acts 12:9, 12, 16 = Believers gathered to pray in Mark’s mother’s house for jailed Peter
    Note: Early sources state that Mark recorded the story of Jesus as told by Peter (Gospel of Mark)
    What story does Mark record at Jesus’ arrest that many believe refers to him?
      Mark 14:50-52 = Young man who followed Jesus ran away naked
    Why might Barnabas and Saul taken John-Mark with them to Antioch?
      Colossians 4:10 = He was the cousin of Barnabas

Antioch Leadership (Acts 13:1-3)
    How was the church in Antioch able to operate while Barnabas and Saul were in Jerusalem?
      Acts 13:1 = God raised prophets and teachers to lead the church
    Was God satisfied with the ministry these men were doing in Antioch?
      Acts 13:2 = No, He had greater plans & had them commission Barnabas & Saul for His work
    How did this church respond to God’s call for this birth of “foreign missions”?
      Acts 13:3 = Fasted & prayed for God’s guidance, sent them off

To Cyprus (Acts 13:4-12)
    Where did Barnabas and Saul head first?
      Acts 13:4 = To the island of Cyprus
    Why might they begin there? = Same reason Saul spent 10 years witnessing in Tarsus
      Acts 4:36 = Barnabas was from Cyprus
    Where did these Christian Jews focus their missionary efforts on Cyprus?
      Acts 13:5 = In the Jewish synagogues - Targeted Jews

    What non-Jew did God lead them to as they reached the other end of the island?
      Acts 13:6-7 = Sergius Paulus, the proconsul (reported to the senate instead of Caesar)
    What did Bar-Jesus (“son of Jesus”) do when this teaching threatened his relationship with S. Paulus?
      Acts 13:8 = He opposed Barnabas and Saul and tried to stop their effect on Sergius Paulus
    How did Saul respond, playing on his surname, his magical powers & his claim to be a religious light?
      Acts 13:9-11 = Called him “son of the devil” and made him blind for a period
    Did this have any effect on Sergius Paulus?
      Acts 13:12 = Yes, he believed and became a Christian

A Different Missionary Group (Acts 13:13)
    What transition did Luke make in the story we just read that highlights a new focus to Gentiles?
      Acts 13:9a = Saul now called Paul (his Roman name)
    How does Luke also point out that the leadership of this effort changes from Barnabas to Paul?
      Acts 13:13a = Instead of “Barnabas and Saul”, he says “Paul and his companions”
    Was anyone bothered by this change in leadership? = Luke doesn’t explain reason
      Acts 13:13b = John Mark left and went back home to Jerusalem
    Was Paul upset by John-Mark leaving? = Led to two missionary groups
      Acts 16:36-41 = Yes, He refused to take J-M on 2nd journey, split with Barnabas
    Were Paul and Mark ever reconciled?
      2 Timothy 4:11 = Yes, Mark became helpful to Paul in his ministry

Preaching in Another Antioch (Acts 13:14-41)
    Where did Paul and Barnabas head for our next story of this journey?
      Acts 13:14 = Antioch in Pisidia - crossroads, many ethnic groups
      Antioch - 110 miles from Perga past Taurus Mountains, 4000 ft elevation
    Why did Paul always begin his ministry in a new city by going to the synagogues?
      Acts 13:15-16 = Would be invited to speak as visiting rabbi, opportunity to share gospel

    Luke recorded two examples two examples of Paul’s typical sermons - Acts 13 (to Jews) & 17 (Greeks)
    What components did Paul include in a typical sermon to Jews? = Don’t read aloud unless time
      Acts 13:17-22 = God’s faithfulness to His chosen people - the Jews
      Acts 13:23-25 = God fulfilled His promise to send the Savior, the Messiah
      Acts 13:26-29 = The Messiah was not recognized and was rejected & killed
      Acts 13:30-31 = God’s power overcame man’s evil and the Savior was returned to life
      Acts 13:32-37 = It happened just as God had foretold it would happen
      Acts 13:38-39 = God gives forgiveness and salvation to those who have faith in Jesus
      Acts 13:40-41 = Warning against unbelief and rejection

Responding to the Message (Acts 13:42-52)
    How did the listeners respond to Paul’s sermon?
      Acts 13:42-43 = They wanted to hear more and asked them back
    Did they still want to hear more the next week, or was their request just excitement of the moment?
      Acts 13:44 = They were very excited by the message, had spread the word & brought others
    How did the members of the synagogue feel about this heavy attendance of all sorts of people?
      Acts 13:45 = They were upset that non-Jews were included & could also receive the gospel

    How did Paul and Barnabas respond that became typical in other cities they visited?
      Acts 13:46-47 = They turned their focus to the Gentiles since the Jews rejected the message
    Did Paul change his ministry to focus primarily to the Gentiles (non-Jews)?
      Romans 1:14-16 = No, he went first to the Jews, then to the Greeks
    How did the Gentiles feel about what Paul said?
      Acts 13:48-49 = They were thrilled and many became Christians and witnessed to others
    Did the Jews in Antioch just ignore Paul & Barnabas from that time on? = New Christians joyful anyway
      Acts 13:50-52 = No, they banded together and kicked them out of town

Iconium (Acts 14:1-7)
    Iconium - Important crossroads & agricultural center in Galatia, Now Konya in Turkey
    How were Paul and Barnabas received in Iconium?
      Acts 14:1-3 = Many believed, some Jews opposed them
    Was the opposition in Iconium as strong as it had been in Antioch?
      Acts 14:4-5 = Even stronger, they made plans to have them arrested and executed
    What happened?
      Acts 14:6-7 = They escaped and went to Lystra and Derbe and preached ther

Gods in Lystra (Acts 14:8-20)
    What kind of faith did Paul and Barnabas find in Lystra?
      Acts 14:8-10 = Responsive faith, Was able to heal a man crippled from birth
    Why does verse 9 say “he had faith to be healed”?
      Matthew 9:28-29; 13:58 = Faith is needed for miracles to occur
    How did the people of Lystra respond to this miracle? = Barnabas more imposing, Paul more vocal
      Acts 14:11-13 = They thought P&B were Zeus and Hermes
    Lystra legend was that Zeus & Hermes had visited and were recognized only by an old couple
      Zeus was the patron god of Lystra and his temple was there

    How did Paul and Barnabas react to being called gods?
      Acts 14:14-18 = They were upset by it and tried unsuccessfully to turn the people to God
    How were the people eventually convinced that Paul and Barnabas were not gods?
      Acts 14:19-20 = Jews from Antioch and Iconium won the crowd over and stoned Paul

Back to Syrian Antioch (Acts 14:21-28)
    Were Paul and Barnabas effective in Derbe?
      Acts 14:21a = Yes, many became Christians
    Where did Paul and Barnabas go after leaving Derbe?
      Acts 14:21b-25 = Retraced their path, encouraging the new Christians and calling leaders
    Did they go back through Cyprus?
      Acts 14:26 = No, they sailed straight back to Antioch
    What did they do in Antioch?
      Acts 14:27-28 = Told how God had worked through them, stayed a long time
    Note: First journey understood to have taken about 2 years, Stayed 2 years before second journey

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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