First Journey

 

They travel around 16 miles to Seleucia mentioned only here in the NT.

They set sail to Cyprus a beautiful island 140 miles wide and 50 miles N + S Home of Barnabas Acts 4:36.

At Salamis they preach in the Synagogues with Mark assisting them. There was a big enough Jewish population that they had more than one Synagogue. It took a minium of 10 deadicated Hebrew men to constitute a Synagogue.

At Paphos the proconsul Sergius Paulis an intelligent man wanted to hear the word of God, but a sorcerer named Bar-Jesus also called Elymas did not want them to speak these words to the proconsul. He did not want anyone to interfere with his customer or take attention away from his tricks. Paul strikes him blind for a while. This was punitive miracle. One can only wonder if after he received his sight back if he continued in his tricks or was converted. Itís a wonder why those that claim to have the miraculous ability today and can never prove that someone has been healed instantly or someone has not received their sight after being blind nor can they do what Paul did cause someone to go blind for a time.I am reminded of the Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8 where he astonished the Samarians with his tricks but when Phillip came there and preached the word and confirmed it with miracles and sign from God, even Simon was converted by these true miracles done by Phillip. This was a turning point for Paul he had been called Saul up to this point and from here on he is called Paul his Roman name. Before this time Barnabas was mention first and was in the leadership role of the group. From here on out except in a few places Paul is mentioned first as moves into the leadership role of this trio.

 

At Perga Mark leaves the trio and heads back to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas continue on their journey to Antioch of Pisidia. They enter the synagogue and are asked to give an exhortation after the customary reading of the law was done. This was not uncommon toallow strangers thatwereHebrewsto speak. Paul speaks his first and longest recorded speech. The speech was mainly about how God keeps his promises. Paul used the OT to show that the Jesus was the son of God and how he had fulfilled the prophecies about him. They wanted him to come back the next Sabbath so that they could hear him speak again. Well this time practically the whole city shows up to hear him speak and this makes the Jews Jealous and they resist their words and Paul proclaims that he tried to give them the words of life but they would not accept it so now they would turn to the Gentiles. The Jews stir up the other Jews and run them out of town.

 

At Iconium (known for its wheat fields and orchards) they enter the Synagogue and they preach a powerful message and great multitudes of Greeks and Jews believe. The unbelieving Jews however work hard to turn the Gentiles against them and the city was split in half. They stay there for awhile confirming their word with sign and wonders until the Jews plotted to stone them. Paul and Barnabas find this out and flee to Lystra and Derbe. There was nothing wrong with fleeing in fact Jesus said to do this very thing in Mat 10:23

 

At Lystra Paul was speaking the word of God when he noticesthis crippled man sitting there who had been crippled from his birth. Paul tells him tostand up and leaps upand walks. The people there go nuts and start calling Paul and Barnabas Zeus and Hermes and start trying to worship them. Paul and Barnabas tear their clothes in symbolic act to reflect there feeling of the situation.They tell them that they are just mere men and not to be worshiped. He pleads with them to turn away from their Gods and idols and turn to the living God. Some dedicated Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and stirred up the crowd and had Paul stoned and drug him outside the city. They assumed he was dead but when the disciples gathered around him he rose up and went back in the city. Sometime during this time it is believed that Paul encounters Timothy for the first time and converts him. Some passages that support this idea is 1Tim 1:2 and 2Tim 3:10-11. The next day Paul and Barnabas go to Derbe. They preach there and make more disciples and then return back the same way the came from to strengthen the churches and exhort them to continue in the faith. If one could be once saved always saved why would it be important for them to strengthenor to encourage them continuein the faith. It obvious that one can be lost thatwas once saved. They also appointed elders (Plural) in every church. How could they appoint elders so quickly?

 

  1. Some of these men werelikely Jews who were trained in the OT and were already spiritually mature.
  2. Paul would more than likely of laid hands on these elders giving the spiritual gifts that would qualify them to be elders.

 

They return back to Perga and teach there and then headed to Attalia and setsail for Antioch. When they arrive they call a meeting at the church there. They report there journey to them and their main emphasis was that Godhad opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. †††††††† Even though the Lord can open the door itís the up to man to walk through it in obedient faith. Its during this time that Paul is believed to have written Galatians in 49AD while others believe it was written from Ephesus or Corinthbetween 52-56 AD. It is also believed that this is the time where Peter was in Antioch and that he would eat with the Gentiles until the Jews would come around then he would have nothing to do withthem but Paul withstands him for doing this. Gal 2:11

 

Some Jews come from Judea and try to teach that the Gentiles had to circumcised to be saved. So they go to Jerusalem to the church there where the eldersand apostles are to work this matter out. Paul and Barnabas talk about there success among the gentiles and some Jews said that the gentiles must be circumcised. Peter speaks out and recaps the story of how God accepted the Gentiles just how they were and that the Jews shouldnít try to burden the Gentiles down with the Jewish way. Paul and Barnabas speak some more of the greatmiracles that God has worked throughthem among the Gentiles. James remindsthem of OT prophecy that the Gentileswould also be a part of Gods kingdom. They agree and they write a letter to be sent to the gentiles in Antioch basicallystatingthat theydoníthave to be circumcised. This was not just a man made decision butwas guidedby the HS 15: 28. They return back to Antiochwith2other prophetsandthey church there rejoices from the news.