25 l And Barnabas and Saul returned from 1 Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them m John, whose other name was Mark. Barnabas and Saul Sent Off 13 1 Now there were in the church at Antioch n prophets and n teachers, o Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, 1 Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of p Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, q the Holy Spirit said, r “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul s for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and t praying they laid their hands on them and u sent them off. Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus 4 So, being sent out v by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God w in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had x John to y assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain z magician, a a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with b the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the z magician (for that is the meaning of his name) c opposed them, seeking to turn d the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, e filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You f son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and g villainy, will you not stop h making crooked i the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, j the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking k people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at l the teaching of the Lord. Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia 13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And m John left them and returned n to Jerusalem, 14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And o on the Sabbath day p they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After q the reading from r the Law and the Prophets, s the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any t word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and u motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel and v you who fear God, listen. 17 w The God of this people Israel x chose our fathers and y made the people great z during their stay in the land of Egypt, and a with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about b forty years c he put up with 1 them in the wilderness. 19 And d after destroying e seven nations in the land of Canaan, f he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that g he gave them judges until h Samuel the prophet. 21 Then i they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul j the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And k when he had removed him, l he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, m ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse n a man after my heart, o who will do all my will.’ 23 p Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel q a Savior, Jesus, r as he promised. 24 Before his coming, s John had proclaimed t a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, u he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’ 26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you v who fear God, to us has been sent w the message of x this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because y they did not recognize him nor understand z the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, a fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And b though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, c they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when d they had carried out all that was written of him, e they took him down from f the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But g God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days h he appeared to those i who had come up with him j from Galilee to Jerusalem, k who are now l his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news m that what God promised to the fathers, 33 n this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, o “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ 34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, p q no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you r the holy and sure blessings of David.’ 35 Therefore he says also in another psalm, s “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ 36 For David, after he had t served the purpose of God in his own generation, u fell asleep and v was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom w God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, x that through this man y forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him z everyone who believes is freed 1 from everything a from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: 41 b “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’” 42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and c devout d converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them e to continue in f the grace of God. 44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 g But h when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with i jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, j reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God k be spoken first to you. l Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves m unworthy of eternal life, behold, we n are turning to the Gentiles. 47 o For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, p “‘I have made you q a light for the Gentiles, that you may r bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and s glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 t But the Jews 1 incited the devout u women of high standing and the leading men of the city, v stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and w drove them out of their district. 51 But they x shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled y with joy and z with the Holy Spirit.
25 Βαρναβᾶς δὲ καὶ Σαῦλος ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ πληρώσαντες τὴν διακονίαν, συμπαραλαβόντες Ἰωάννην τὸν ἐπικληθέντα Μᾶρκον. 13 1 ῏Ησαν δὲ ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ κατὰ τὴν οὖσαν ἐκκλησίαν προφῆται καὶ διδάσκαλοι ὅ τε Βαρναβᾶς καὶ Συμεὼν ὁ καλούμενος Νίγερ καὶ Λούκιος ὁ Κυρηναῖος, Μαναήν τε Ἡρῴδου τοῦ τετραάρχου σύντροφος καὶ Σαῦλος. 2 Λειτουργούντων δὲ αὐτῶν τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ νηστευόντων εἶπεν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον• ἀφορίσατε δή μοι τὸν Βαρναβᾶν καὶ Σαῦλον εἰς τὸ ἔργον ὃ προσκέκλημαι αὐτούς. 3 τότε νηστεύσαντες καὶ προσευξάμενοι καὶ ἐπιθέντες τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῖς ἀπέλυσαν. 4 Αὐτοὶ μὲν οὖν ἐκπεμφθέντες ὑπὸ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος κατῆλθον εἰς Σελεύκειαν, ἐκεῖθέν τε ἀπέπλευσαν εἰς Κύπρον 5 καὶ γενόμενοι ἐν Σαλαμῖνι κατήγγελλον τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς τῶν Ἰουδαίων. εἶχον δὲ καὶ Ἰωάννην ὑπηρέτην. 6 Διελθόντες δὲ ὅλην τὴν νῆσον ἄχρι Πάφου εὗρον ἄνδρα τινὰ μάγον ψευδοπροφήτην Ἰουδαῖον ᾧ ὄνομα Βαριησοῦ 7 ὃς ἦν σὺν τῷ ἀνθυπάτῳ Σεργίῳ Παύλῳ, ἀνδρὶ συνετῷ. οὗτος προσκαλεσάμενος Βαρναβᾶν καὶ Σαῦλον ἐπεζήτησεν ἀκοῦσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ. 8 ἀνθίστατο δὲ αὐτοῖς Ἐλύμας ὁ μάγος, οὕτως γὰρ μεθερμηνεύεται τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, ζητῶν διαστρέψαι τὸν ἀνθύπατον ἀπὸ τῆς πίστεως. 9 Σαῦλος δέ, ὁ καὶ Παῦλος, πλησθεὶς πνεύματος ἁγίου ἀτενίσας εἰς αὐτὸν 10 εἶπεν• ὦ πλήρης παντὸς δόλου καὶ πάσης ῥᾳδιουργίας, υἱὲ διαβόλου, ἐχθρὲ πάσης δικαιοσύνης, οὐ παύσῃ διαστρέφων τὰς ὁδοὺς [τοῦ] κυρίου τὰς εὐθείας; 11 καὶ νῦν ἰδοὺ χεὶρ κυρίου ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ ἔσῃ τυφλὸς μὴ βλέπων τὸν ἥλιον ἄχρι καιροῦ. παραχρῆμά τε ἔπεσεν ἐπʼ αὐτὸν ἀχλὺς καὶ σκότος καὶ περιάγων ἐζήτει χειραγωγούς. 12 τότε ἰδὼν ὁ ἀνθύπατος τὸ γεγονὸς ἐπίστευσεν ἐκπλησσόμενος ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ τοῦ κυρίου. 13 Ἀναχθέντες δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς Πάφου οἱ περὶ Παῦλον ἦλθον εἰς Πέργην τῆς Παμφυλίας, Ἰωάννης δὲ ἀποχωρήσας ἀπʼ αὐτῶν ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. 14 Αὐτοὶ δὲ διελθόντες ἀπὸ τῆς Πέργης παρεγένοντο εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν τὴν Πισιδίαν, καὶ [εἰς]ελθόντες εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων ἐκάθισαν. 15 μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἀνάγνωσιν τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν ἀπέστειλαν οἱ ἀρχισυνάγωγοι πρὸς αὐτοὺς λέγοντες• * ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, εἴ τίς ἐστιν ἐν ὑμῖν λόγος παρακλήσεως πρὸς τὸν λαόν, λέγετε. 16 Ἀναστὰς δὲ Παῦλος καὶ κατασείσας τῇ χειρὶ εἶπεν• ἄνδρες Ἰσραηλῖται καὶ οἱ φοβούμενοι τὸν θεόν, ἀκούσατε. 17 ὁ θεὸς τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου Ἰσραὴλ ἐξελέξατο τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν καὶ τὸν λαὸν ὕψωσεν ἐν τῇ παροικίᾳ ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτου καὶ μετὰ βραχίονος ὑψηλοῦ ἐξήγαγεν αὐτοὺς ἐξ αὐτῆς, 18 καὶ ὡς τεσσερακονταετῆ χρόνον ἐτροποφόρησεν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ 19 καὶ καθελὼν ἔθνη ἑπτὰ ἐν γῇ Χανάαν κατεκληρονόμησεν τὴν γῆν αὐτῶν 20 ὡς ἔτεσιν τετρακοσίοις καὶ πεντήκοντα. καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἔδωκεν κριτὰς ἕως Σαμουὴλ [τοῦ] προφήτου. 21 κἀκεῖθεν ᾐτήσαντο βασιλέα καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ὁ θεὸς τὸν Σαοὺλ υἱὸν Κίς, ἄνδρα ἐκ φυλῆς Βενιαμίν, ἔτη τεσσεράκοντα, 22 καὶ μεταστήσας αὐτὸν ἤγειρεν τὸν Δαυὶδ αὐτοῖς εἰς βασιλέα ᾧ καὶ εἶπεν μαρτυρήσας• εὗρον Δαυὶδ τὸν τοῦ Ἰεσσαί, ἄνδρα κατὰ τὴν καρδίαν μου, ὃς ποιήσει πάντα τὰ θελήματά μου. 23 τούτου ὁ θεὸς ἀπὸ τοῦ σπέρματος κατʼ ἐπαγγελίαν ἤγαγεν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ σωτῆρα Ἰησοῦν, 24 προκηρύξαντος Ἰωάννου πρὸ προσώπου τῆς εἰσόδου αὐτοῦ βάπτισμα μετανοίας παντὶ τῷ λαῷ Ἰσραήλ. 25 ὡς δὲ ἐπλήρου Ἰωάννης τὸν δρόμον, ἔλεγεν• τί ἐμὲ ὑπονοεῖτε εἶναι; οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγώ• ἀλλʼ ἰδοὺ ἔρχεται μετʼ ἐμὲ οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἄξιος τὸ ὑπόδημα τῶν ποδῶν λῦσαι. 26 Ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, υἱοὶ γένους Ἀβραὰμ καὶ οἱ ἐν ὑμῖν φοβούμενοι τὸν θεόν, ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος τῆς σωτηρίας ταύτης ἐξαπεστάλη. 27 οἱ γὰρ κατοικοῦντες ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ οἱ ἄρχοντες αὐτῶν τοῦτον ἀγνοήσαντες καὶ τὰς φωνὰς τῶν προφητῶν τὰς κατὰ πᾶν σάββατον ἀναγινωσκομένας κρίναντες ἐπλήρωσαν, 28 καὶ μηδεμίαν αἰτίαν θανάτου εὑρόντες ᾐτήσαντο Πιλᾶτον ἀναιρεθῆναι αὐτόν. 29 ὡς δὲ ἐτέλεσαν πάντα τὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ γεγραμμένα, καθελόντες ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου ἔθηκαν εἰς μνημεῖον. 30 ὁ δὲ θεὸς ἤγειρεν αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν, 31 ὃς ὤφθη ἐπὶ ἡμέρας πλείους τοῖς συναναβᾶσιν αὐτῷ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ, οἵτινες [νῦν] εἰσιν μάρτυρες αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν λαόν. 32 Καὶ ἡμεῖς ὑμᾶς εὐαγγελιζόμεθα τὴν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἐπαγγελίαν γενομένην, 33 ὅτι ταύτην ὁ θεὸς ἐκπεπλήρωκεν τοῖς τέκνοις [αὐτῶν] ἡμῖν ἀναστήσας Ἰησοῦν ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ γέγραπται τῷ δευτέρῳ• υἱός μου εἶ σύ, ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε. 34 ὅτι δὲ ἀνέστησεν αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν μηκέτι μέλλοντα ὑποστρέφειν εἰς διαφθοράν, οὕτως εἴρηκεν ὅτι δώσω ὑμῖν τὰ ὅσια Δαυὶδ τὰ πιστά. 35 διότι καὶ ἐν ἑτέρῳ λέγει• οὐ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν. 36 Δαυὶδ μὲν γὰρ ἰδίᾳ γενεᾷ ὑπηρετήσας τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ βουλῇ ἐκοιμήθη καὶ προσετέθη πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶδεν διαφθοράν• 37 ὃν δὲ ὁ θεὸς ἤγειρεν, οὐκ εἶδεν διαφθοράν. 38 γνωστὸν οὖν ἔστω ὑμῖν, ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, ὅτι διὰ τούτου ὑμῖν ἄφεσις ἁμαρτιῶν καταγγέλλεται, [καὶ] ἀπὸ πάντων ὧν οὐκ ἠδυνήθητε ἐν νόμῳ Μωϋσέως δικαιωθῆναι, 39 ἐν τούτῳ πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων δικαιοῦται. 40 βλέπετε οὖν μὴ ἐπέλθῃ τὸ εἰρημένον ἐν τοῖς προφήταις• 41 ἴδετε, οἱ καταφρονηταί, καὶ θαυμάσατε καὶ ἀφανίσθητε, ὅτι ἔργον ἐργάζομαι ἐγὼ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ὑμῶν, ἔργον ὃ οὐ μὴ πιστεύσητε ἐάν τις ἐκδιηγῆται ὑμῖν. 42 Ἐξιόντων δὲ αὐτῶν παρεκάλουν εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ σάββατον λαληθῆναι αὐτοῖς τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα. 43 λυθείσης δὲ τῆς συναγωγῆς ἠκολούθησαν πολλοὶ τῶν Ἰουδαίων καὶ τῶν σεβομένων προσηλύτων τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ τῷ Βαρναβᾷ, οἵτινες προσλαλοῦντες αὐτοῖς ἔπειθον αὐτοὺς προσμένειν τῇ χάριτι τοῦ θεοῦ. 44 Τῷ δὲ ἐρχομένῳ σαββάτῳ σχεδὸν πᾶσα ἡ πόλις συνήχθη ἀκοῦσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ κυρίου. 45 ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι τοὺς ὄχλους ἐπλήσθησαν ζήλου καὶ ἀντέλεγον τοῖς ὑπὸ Παύλου λαλουμένοις βλασφημοῦντες. 46 παρρησιασάμενοί τε ὁ Παῦλος καὶ ὁ Βαρναβᾶς εἶπαν• ὑμῖν ἦν ἀναγκαῖον πρῶτον λαληθῆναι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ• ἐπειδὴ ἀπωθεῖσθε αὐτὸν καὶ οὐκ ἀξίους κρίνετε ἑαυτοὺς τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς, ἰδοὺ στρεφόμεθα εἰς τὰ ἔθνη. 47 οὕτως γὰρ ἐντέταλται ἡμῖν ὁ κύριος• τέθεικά σε εἰς φῶς ἐθνῶν τοῦ εἶναί σε εἰς σωτηρίαν ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς. 48 Ἀκούοντα δὲ τὰ ἔθνη ἔχαιρον καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν λόγον τοῦ κυρίου καὶ ἐπίστευσαν ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον• 49 διεφέρετο δὲ ὁ λόγος τοῦ κυρίου διʼ ὅλης τῆς χώρας.
Lord, please use us to make Jesus famous, loved and followed. Please let none of us stand in the way of the advance of his kingdom. The Lord Jesus sends Paul and Barnabus to preach and plant his gospel in the nations This is the beginning of the 'first missionary journey'. Note obedience to Jesus' call (Paul & Barnabus); rejection and opposition (Elymas, jealous Jews); and joyful belief (Paulus, converts in Antioch). 1. 12.25-13.3 Barnabus and Saul are set apart and sent by God Important paradigm for how we recognise and send church planters and missionaries: The Holy Spirit calls and sets apart for particular ministries. He is sovereign in this! [composer writes, I want this melody played by french horn] All walks of life, already. Manaen, a life-long friend of Herod the tetrarch (never saw this before). Prophets and teachers in this fledgling church; you need both. V2 they were worshipping and fasting. Was fasting a routine part of their church life, or was there a sense of, 'what next, Lord?' [I hope you identify with this; pleading with God to lead the next chapter; church plant, venue, etc] V3 kingdom-mindedness. This fledgling church plant say goodbye to their A team, for the extension of the Kingdom. 13.3 their readiness to release/send away Saul and Barnabus. Sometimes a fledgling church is best placed to send out and plant again, since it is centrally in its self-aware DNA. ['At TCC, we are a church-planting church.' Not about us, our size, fame, resources, wealth, prestige - but about the Kingdom] 2. 13.4-12 They preach the gospel in Cyprus and are met with opposition and fruit V4 emphatic. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit (through His church). Emphasis on a jew going by his greek name - i.e., a fake. Saul now called Paul. Paul's first 'miracle' actually one of judgement; V9 full of the Holy Spirit...to rebuke and utter judgement. Perhaps Paulus ('thunderstruck') knew people in Antioch and that's why they went there? 3. 13.13-43 Paul preaches the gospel from the Scriptures to the Jews in Pisidian Antioch NB Mark left them. John mentioned v5 and then v13. Why? It will matter later when Paul and Barnabus split. Paul's sermon: After the parshah and haftorah a) v16-25 Storyline: [all the first books of the OT summarised here] Moses to David to John; all the anticipation of the Old Covenant. b) v26-39 The historical gospel events: Jesus rejected, crucified, and raised - according to the Scriptures; Psalm 2, Isaiah 55, Psalm 16! So we can be forgiven and justified (v39) LBCF VII.3. This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament; and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect; and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency. LBCF XI.1 Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God. c) v40-43 So respond rightly! Many Jews and converts did; the gospel makes patent what was latent, delivers what was promised; scan and now the baby itself; shadow and substance. Such lovely shorthand, continue in the grace of God. [if you could give one tweet to brothers & sisters, wouldn't it be this?] 4. 13.44-52 They turn to the gentiles after jealous opposition from the Jews Rejection is a choice; v46 you judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life. [dishwasher doesn't make things dirty - but it cleans those ready to be cleaned, and hardens those that aren't] v48 the gentiles heard this, they rejoiced - as Psalm 97 says, let the distant coastlands rejoice! Appointed to eternal life: this is a warm and comforting doctrine, since we are chosen not as random individuals, but in Christ. God's eternal covenant is with Christ, and we are in him by faith. LBCF X.1. Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace. Shake dust off feet; cf Luke 9.5. Filled with joy - cf Matthew 5.12. Hardening for them is riches for us. Wild branches grafted in to the olive tree. Glory of God: He has kept his word, and appointed people to be saved from all nations; he hardens the hearts of those who oppose his message; he provides the messengers for his word (us!) FCF: Rejecting or opposing the message, like Elymas the fake, or the jealous Jews. We stand in the way of receiving it ourselves, and stopping others from receiving it. By nature: We don't want to change, certainly not any change that has us admitting we are not the centre of the universe. Our default is to reject this. By choice: So we make up reasons, like the jealous Jews - finding any way to contradict. And to stop others exposing our lie. H1 - this might be various accusations like, the Bible can't be trusted, the resurrection never happened, science has disproved God etc. Friends or parents who make it difficult for someone to go to church. H2 - or more subtle, like Christianly redefining bits to remove the bite, and so 'thrusting aside' the gospel. Or claiming some kind of intellectual higher ground which actually prevents people from hearing the gospel [The minister telling the muslim who wanted to be baptised, 'why do you want to convert, you are already a believer'. Similar things with discussions on marriage, sexuality, science] Or, simply not doing what would help others to receive the gospel - because actually you don't value it much yourself. [Parents. Living on mission.]. There is no such thing as neutral rejection without opposition. Jesus' person: He comes, calling people. Peter, James, John. Zacchaeus. I am the Good Shepherd; my sheep hear my voice and they follow me. He wearies and expends himself going around proclaiming the kingdom; 'let us go on to the other towns and villages, because that is why I have come' We avoid the doctrine of election because we think it's harsh. Actually it's warm and comforting; the picture is of a Shepherd calling his sheep to him. And now, since those early days, it's as though Jesus walks through the earth calling his sheep, through his church. See v48; as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. Jesus' work: He puts our old self to death; that old humanity that is turned in on itself, which will not give up the right to self-rule, and in fact will kill anyone who tries to expose it. He who had no sin became sin for us. Because of our desire to stop this message, we killed him. We made him out to be a lie and die as a liar. But at the same time it meant that he could die our death for us, and destroy our lie for us. And in his resurrection, we live. Our old self has died, so we live in new life. We're alive to God, in Jesus. He is central now - even though the old self-centred urges rear their heads. Now we live in warm surrender to his rule, longing to call others to this new life; wanting to do all we can to call others to Jesus. Repent and believe: Stop standing in the way of the gospel - in your own heart or in the way of others. Rejoice in this fact that God has kept his promises in Jesus, and now in him we are justified from everything we could not be. Our sins are forgiven. This gospel is unstoppable - see last week, see v49 today. The question is, which side are you really on? Paul and Barnabus are like a picture for us of what discipleship looks like; the constant death to self that surrenders joyfully to what God has in store for them. In contrast to others in the passage who selfishly oppose the gospel at every step. Lord, please use us to make Jesus famous, loved and followed. Please let none of us stand in the way of the advance of his kingdom.
12.25 And Barnabus and Saul returned from Jerusalem having fulfilled their ministry, taking along John (the one called Mark) as a companion. 13.1 Now in the church in Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabus and Simeon (the one called Black) and Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2. While they were publicly ministering and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Place apart for me Barnabus and Saul for the work to which I have summoned them.' 3. Then fasting and praying and laying their hands upon them they sent them away. 4. They, having been sent out by the Holy Spirit, came down to Seleucia, from where they set sail for Cyprus. 5. And coming to Salamis proclaimed the Word of God in the Jewish Synagogues. And they had John as an assistant. 6. Passing through the whole island as far as Paphos they found a man, a magician and Jewish false prophet called Bar-Jesus. 7. who was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, a wise man. He summoned Barnabus and Saul, desiring to hear the Word of God. 8. But Elymas the magician - which is what his was name translated as - opposed them, desiring to pervert the proconsul from believing. 9. But Saul, who was called Paul, full of the Holy Spirit looked steadily at him 10. and said, 'O! Full of all deceit and all villainy, son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness, will you not stop opposing the straight ways of the Lord?