First Missionary Journey
Acts 13 – 14
Acts 13 – 14
The Work in Cyprus and Antioch of Pisidia
1 Now there were in Antioch, in the assembly which was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius the Cyrenian, and Manaen, foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and having laid their hands on them, they let them go. 4 They therefore, having been sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia, and thence sailed away to Cyprus. 5 And being in Salamis, they announced the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also as their attendant. 6 And having passed through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a certain man a magician, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. “He”, having called Barnabas and Saul to him, desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for so his name is by interpretation) opposed them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith. 9 But Saul, who also is Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixing his eyes upon him, 10 said, O full of all deceit and all craft: son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness; wilt thou not cease perverting the right paths of the Lord? 11 And now behold, the Lord’s hand is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell upon him a mist and darkness; and going about he sought persons who should lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul, seeing what had happened, believed, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord. 13 And having sailed from Paphos, Paul and his company came to Perga of Pamphylia; and John separated from them and returned to Jerusalem. 14 But they, passing through from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia; and entering into the synagogue on the sabbath day they sat down. 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, Brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation to the people, speak. 16 And Paul, rising up and making a sign with the hand, said, Israelites, and ye that fear God, hearken. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people in their sojourn in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm brought them out of it, 18 and for a time of about forty years he nursed them in the desert. 19 And having destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 And after these things he gave them judges till Samuel the prophet, to the end of about four hundred and fifty years. 21 And then they asked for a king, and God gave to them Saul, son of Kis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, during forty years. 22 And having removed him he raised up to them David for king, of whom also bearing witness he said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who shall do all my will. 23 Of this man’s seed according to promise has God brought to Israel a Saviour, Jesus; 24 John having proclaimed before the face of his entry among the people the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was fulfilling his course he said, Whom do ye suppose that I am? “I” am not he. But behold, there comes one after me, the sandal of whose feet I am not worthy to loose. 26 Brethren, sons of Abraham’s race, and those who among you fear God, to you has the word of this salvation been sent: 27 for those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, not having known him, have fulfilled also the voices of the prophets which are read on every sabbath, by judging him. 28 And having found no cause of death in him, they begged of Pilate that he might be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all things written concerning him, they took him down from the cross and put him in a sepulchre; 30 but God raised him from among the dead, 31 who appeared for many days to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And “we” declare unto you the glad tidings of the promise made to the fathers, 33 that God has fulfilled this to us their children, having raised up Jesus; as it is also written in the second psalm, “Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee.” [Psalm 2:7] 34 But that he raised him from among the dead, no more to return to corruption, he spoke thus: “I will give to you the faithful mercies of David.” [Isaiah 55:3] 35 Wherefore also he says in another, “Thou wilt not suffer thy gracious one to see corruption.” [Psalm 16:10] 36 For David indeed, having in his own generation ministered to the will of God, fell asleep, and was added to his fathers and saw corruption. 37 But he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Be it known unto you, therefore, brethren, that through this man remission of sins is preached to you, 39 and from all things from which ye could not be justified in the law of Moses, in him every one that believes is justified.
Was Christ’s natural body corruptible? It is clear from Psalm 16:10, its quotation by Paul in Acts 13:35, and especially by Peter in Acts 2:27, that our Lord’s natural body, before His resurrection, could not be corrupted; i.e. it would not decay as the bodies of other men, such as Lazarus. In Acts 13 it almost sounds like God raised Christ in order to prevent His body from being corrupted. But in v.37, Paul adds clearly, “he whom God raised up did not see corruption”. This shows that even if our Lord’s body lay in the grave for 100 years, it would not have corrupted. In Acts 2 we have Peter’s clear statement that “it was not possible that he [Christ] should be holden of it [death]“. On account of who He was (the Son of God), and on account of His sinless perfection, it was not possible that our Lord’s body could corrupt, and it was not possible that death could long hold Him it its grasp.
40 See therefore that that which is spoken in the prophets do not come upon you, 41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish; for “I” work a work in your days, a work which ye will in no wise believe if one declare it to you. 42 And as they went out they begged that these words might be spoken to them the ensuing sabbath. 43 And the congregation of the synagogue having broken up, many of the Jews and of the worshipping proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And on the coming sabbath almost all the city was gathered together to hear the word of God. 45 But the Jews, seeing the crowds, were filled with envy, and contradicted the things said by Paul, contradicting and speaking injuriously. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke boldly and said, It was necessary that the word of God should be first spoken to you; but, since ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the nations; 47 for thus has the Lord enjoined us: I have set thee for a light of the nations, that thou shouldest be for salvation to the end of the earth. 48 And those of the nations, hearing it, rejoiced, and glorified the word of the Lord, and believed, as many as were ordained to eternal life. 49 And the word of the Lord was carried through the whole country. 50 But the Jews excited the women of the upper classes who were worshippers, and the first people of the city, and raised a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and cast them out of their coasts. 51 But they, having shaken off the dust of their feet against them, came to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.