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Joy and Anger

Acts 12:16-19

Having walked out of a closely guarded cell, escorted by an angel in the early hours of the morning (Acts 12:5-10), Peter made his way quickly to the large house in Jerusalem where the church often met.

Taking What Belongs To God

Acts 12:20-24

King Herod Agrippa had a privileged upbringing in Rome. He enjoyed having power and wanted popularity but was self-centred: he was his own god. The Jews liked him because he appeased them, but he disliked minorities such as the coastal people of Tyre and Sidon, and also Christians.

God Moves People

Acts 12:25-13:3

Despite all the persecution, which had centred on Jerusalem after Stephen's murder, God was at work to move and use His people. Barnabas had previously gone to Tarsus to find Saul, and bring him to Antioch where they taught many people about Jesus (

Early Steps In Mission

Acts 13:4-7

We are used to thinking that Paul the Apostle was a great spiritual leader. But he had to start his ministry somewhere. He had not spent almost three years watching and helping Jesus, like the other apostles.

Spiritual Darkness Overcome

Acts 13:8-12

On the island of Crete, Barnabas and Paul's east to west training-evangelistic tour was almost completed. In Paphos they met spiritual opposition from Bar-Jesus, known as Elymas 'the sorcerer'. He was the governor's servant.

Led By The Holy Spirit

Acts 13:13-15

This is the first episode where Paul takes the role of primary evangelist.

Start On Common Ground

Acts 13:16-20

All good communication needs to make a connection with the audience: something they already know or have experienced. The parables of Jesus are an example of that kind of communication.

A Man After God's Own Heart

Acts 13:20b-22

Paul was teaching in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia on his first missionary journey. He wanted to talk about Jesus but started by describing the heroes of Israel, who were all disappointing in one way or another. After settling His people in the Promised Land, God gave them a succession of fifteen 'judges' or 'deliverers' to bring them back to His plan. The same cycle repeated itself: Israel turned away from the Lord … He allowed their enemies to bring hardship to them … they cried out to the Lord and He sent a deliverer. The last of those was Samuel.

Message For Today

Acts 13:23-26

The Jews always looked forward to God's Saviour. Although they idealised their national heroes, the Scripture is quite honest about their failings. Under David's reign the kingdom was the most extensive and wealthy so they saw him as the model of God's Saviour to come. Paul, teaching in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, followed their logic to introduce Jesus. Jesus was a direct descendent of David, born in David's city of Bethlehem. But He was much more than a copy of David; Jesus was the real Saviour of whom David was just an imperfect model.

The Unrecognised Jesus

Acts 13:27-31

Paul's missionary activity was all about helping people to recognise Jesus as God's Saviour, and respond to Him in repentance and faith (Acts 20:21).