Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Acts 13:13-25

Summary retelling of Acts 13:13-25

After going to Cyprus, Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark travel to Psidian Antioch (on the southern coast of modern Turkey).  John Mark leaves them in Perga in order to come home to Jerusalem.  As they did in Cyprus, they begin by going to the synagogue.  The leaders of the synagogue read from the Law and invite anyone who has a message to stand up and deliver it.  Paul takes the invitation and begins to speak.  Paul talks about the exodus and Moses in Egypt and the giving of the Law.  He talks about David and the promise God made to David.  Paul then speaks about Jesus as the fulfillment of that promise.  He also talks about John the Baptist and how John prophesied that the Messiah would come after him.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
John Mark leaves Barnabas and Saul.  We don’t really know the reason why, but most people think that it wasn’t for a very good reason.  (See Acts 15:36-41 as to Paul and Barnabas’ disagreement about John Mark)  Because of the argument, we usually think that John Mark likely got homesick or they found out that he wasn’t mature enough to handle the travel.  Some people think that John Mark got sick – although if that is the case you wouldn’t think that Paul would object later.  Whatever the reason, it demonstrates the importance of counting the cost and making sure we are up to the task before agreeing to do something.

What does it say about us when we quit something we have promised to do?

Second Thought:
When they get to Psidian Antioch, Paul takes full advantage of the first opportunity that he gets.  He is such a great evangelist because he takes advantage of every opportunity.  Part of being a good agent for God’s ways is not being shy, timid, or afraid – as well as being prepared.  If we believe God is with us, there is no reason to be afraid or unprepared.

Why are people so often afraid to speak when it comes to faith?  How can we gain confidence like Paul?

Third Thought:
Paul takes the Jews the whole way through their own history in order to bring Jesus into the conversation.  He does a good job talking about the history of the Law and how that pointed to Christ.  Then he talks about David – the favorite king of the Jewish people – and how he points to Jesus Christ.  Paul has a plan for being able to talk meaningfully about Jesus.

Why do you think Paul uses the people’s own history to talk to them about Jesus?  How do you think Paul developed this plan?  Do you think that he prepared for this opportunity?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 13:26-31
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