(52 verses, 3:45 to read)
What I am about to READ
1-3: Paul and Barnabas set aside and given a task
4-12: Paul and Barnabas, with John, proclaim the Gospel to the Jews at Cyprus
13-43: Paul proclaims the Gospel in the synagogue at Antioch
44-52: The Word of the Lord spreads to the Gentiles
After prayer and fasting, Paul and Barnabas are set aside by the leaders of the church at Antioch to proclaim the Gospel. Here in the beginning of Paul’s life as Pastor, Apostle, and Missionary, he and his companions go first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and those associated with them.
At Cyprus Paul resembles Moses in Pharaoh’s court as He blasts the so-called magician (think Wormtongue from the Lord of the Rings) as a son of the devil and the Lord through him sends a mini-ninth plague on the false prophet. The leader who had been deceived by this wicked man believes the Gospel.
Next, at Antioch, Paul resembles Saint Stephen as he retells salvation history and reveals its fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. All beg him to continue to preach and the Jews who have rejected the Gospel despise Paul and his companions. The Word of the Lord then turns to the Gentile nations.
Following is a map of this “first missionary journey”:
Dear Lord, we thank you for good and faithful pastors. According to your good will, continue to send courageous men who love your holy Word into the harvest field. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
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-Pastor Weslie Odom