Paul and Barnabas in Iconium

Paul and Barnabas went to Iconium.  However, there were some unbelieving Jews who remained in Iconium, so that there was a division among the people.  Then the people of Iconium turned on Paul and Barnabas, so that they left to continue to proclaim the good news.



Paul and Barnabas at Antioch of Pisidia

Then Paul and Barnabas went to Pamphylia at Antioch of Pisidia.  They went to a synagogue service there, where Paul stood up to speak.  He said that God had led them out of Egypt after forty years in the wilderness.  God gave them the land of Canaan, so that they had the time of Judges until King Saul and King David.  Now the savior Jesus came after John the Baptist, since John was not the one.  They were all descendants of Abraham.  The people of Jerusalem sentenced Jesus to death and laid him in a tomb.  God raised up Jesus and they were the witnesses to his resurrection.  This was the good news.  Jesus’ resurrection was the fulfillment of the promises made to David.  The Holy One would not experience corruption like David who died, because there was no corruption in Jesus.  He proclaimed the forgiveness of sins, because the law of Moses was insufficient.  They should be aware of what the prophets have said.  They were amazed.  They asked Paul to come back the next week for the synagogue service.  They also had other conversations with him.  They all wanted to hear the word of God.  However, jealousy arose as some Jews rejected Paul and Barnabas.  They then became the light to the gentiles as some gentiles became believers.  The word of the Lord spread, but they drove out Paul and Barnabas, so they went to Iconium.  Nevertheless, they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

The missionaries at Cyprus

Barnabas and Saul set sail for Cyprus with John Mark.  There was a magician on the island of Cyprus called Elymas.  However, Paul and Barnabas went to see the Roman governor of the island, Sergius Paulus.  Paul looked intently at this Elymas and spoke against him, so that this magician became blind.  Then Governor Sergius Paulus believed in Paul and Barnabas and their words about Jesus.


The gentile missions from Antioch

The mission to the gentiles was promoted and came from Antioch, so that it began a missionary community.  There were some prophets and teachers at Antioch.  They set aside Barnabas and Saul to go on this missionary journey.  John Mark went with Barnabas and Paul, in what was called the first missionary trip of Paul.  They all laid hands on these missionaries before they left.

King Herod attacks the emerging Christian leaders

King Herod killed James and imprisoned Peter.  He put Peter in a well-guarded prison.  However, the Christian church prayed for Peter.  While Peter was guarded at night, an angel of the Lord appeared.  The angel told Peter to get dressed.  Peter thought that this was a vision.  The angel left Peter, so that Peter realized that it was the angel of the Lord.  Once he escaped, he went to the house of Mary.  A maid answered the door.  She announced to the others that Peter was there.  They wondered whether she was crazy?  Peter continued knocking at the door.  Then they let Peter in and he told them what had happened.  The soldiers guarding Peter were upset because Peter escaped.  King Herod had those guards killed.

The Christian community in Antioch

The Jewish followers of Jesus in Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch joined the Hellenists in Antioch, so that there was a large group of Jewish Christians in Antioch.  Barnabas went to Antioch to see what was going on.  Barnabas was happy with the Antioch community.  He went to Tarsus to find Paul.  Antioch was the first place where the name Christian was used.  The prophets from Jerusalem came to Antioch, including the prophet Agabus.  They would help the Christians in Judea, so that Barnabas and Saul went to Judea.

Peter’s report to Jerusalem

Peter reported to Jerusalem that these gentiles had accepted the word of God.  However, the Jerusalem Christians criticized Peter.  Why did he eat with uncircumcised men?  Thus, Peter began to explain how he was praying in Joppa when he had a vision about many strange animals and was told to get up and eat them.  Peter replied that he did not eat unclean food.  Then this vision was repeated two more times, when three men arrived from Caesarea.  The Holy Spirit told him to go.  An angel had told these three men to get Peter.  They were going to be saved.  The Holy Spirit fell on them so that they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Peter said that he could not hinder God.  At this, the Jerusalem Jewish Christians were silent.

Peter’s presentation to Cornelius

Peter said that God was not partial.  They had to do what is right.  Now they would learn about the message of Jesus Christ who had been in Judea and Galilee.  God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, so that Peter and the apostles were witnesses to Jesus and his resurrection.  Jesus then had appeared to them, so that they could testify about Jesus and grant the forgiveness of sins.  The Holy Spirit came with the gift of the Holy Spirit on these gentiles.  They were speaking in tongues.  How could we deny them baptism?  Thus, they were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Peter and Cornelius

There was an Italian centurion named Cornelius, who was a God-fearing man, at the town of Caesarea.  He had a vision, as an angel of the Lord spoke to Cornelius.  This angel told Cornelius to send men to Peter, who was staying with Simon, the tanner.  Cornelius called three men, so that they went to Joppa.  Meanwhile, Peter was praying at noon, although he was hungry.  A big sheet from heaven came down with a variety of birds and animals.  This angel told him to kill these animals and eat them.  However, Peter responded that he could not eat unclean animals.  This angel told him to eat these unclean animals a second and a third time.  Peter was puzzled. At the same time, the three men from Cornelius of Caesarea were looking for Peter.  The Holy Spirit told Peter to go with these men.  Finally, Peter met the men from Cornelius, as they explained why they were there.  They all then went to Caesarea, where Cornelius was waiting for them.  Cornelius and Peter met, but Cornelius tried to worship Peter, who told Cornelius to stand up.  Then Peter met the household of Cornelius.  He said that he should not call any people unclean.  Then he asked Cornelius why had he sent for Peter.  Cornelius explained that four days ago God saw what Cornelius was doing and told him to go get Peter.  They were going to listen to Peter in the presence of God.