Acts 13:13–25 (ESV)
Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia (Part 1)
13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, 14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into
the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning
with his hand said:
“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted
arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. 19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave
them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said,
‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ 23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, 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.’
This is a long reading that is being broken down in parts. Yesterday’s reading mentioned that Saul is also known as Paul. Today’s reading calls him Paul. It is at Antioch in Pisidia, that Paul and Barnabas
attend a synagogue on the Sabbath. It is the rulers of the synagogue that opened up the opportunity to speak... and boy did Paul snatch up the opportunity. We will not cover all the discourse today, but we will cover the “set up”.
Paul sets up his speech by giving the people at the synagogue the history of God with his chosen people. Paul is telling them “their story” and they should be all familiar with it. What Paul is doing is “reminding” them
of their story and how God has led them through history and how Jesus fits in. He is reminding them how they often went against God and how he delivered them. There is a whole lot of reminding them of their past. It is sort of like Paul is
thumping them on the head and saying “remember?” Even taking the story to John the Baptist who was fulfilling the prophecy of the Old Testament. They should know this and he is “reminding” them.
I pray: O Lord, I know that the people in today’s story have a short memory, but I also know that I am no better. I forget the sins I have committed and that you have forgiven. Help me to remember where I
have come from, what you have done for me, and where you are taking me. Help me to share the story of salvation to others, so that they to may come to live in your kingdom. Protect me and guide me O Lord. Amen.