Acts 13:13–52 (ESV)
Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia
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.’
26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers,
because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to
have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and
for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this
he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,
“ ‘You are my Son,
today I have begotten you.’
34 And as for the fact that he raised him
from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,
“ ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’
35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,
“ ‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’
36 For David, after
he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known
to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything 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 “ ‘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.’ ”
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 devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke
with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.
44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the
word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly,
saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded
“ ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
48 And when the Gentiles
heard this, they began rejoicing and 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 But
the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against
them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s visit to Pisidian Antioch is typical
of his missionary technique and preaching. Today, the unbelieving world often responds in opposition to the message of salvation. Yet, the Gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection, which fulfilled the OT promises of salvation, “is the power of
God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rm 1:16).
I pray: Thank You, heavenly Father, for Your Scriptures. Help me to read them as Paul did, to see Your gracious activity
there, and to realize that all of Your promises and actions are fulfilled in Jesus Christ to give me eternal life. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1863.
Acts 13:4–12 (ESV)
Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus
4 So, being sent out 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 in the synagogues
of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He
was with 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 magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn
the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness,
full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, 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 people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
At the first mission stop, there is both opposition to and belief in the Gospel. Jesus says, “Whoever is not with Me is against Me” (Lk 11:23). God’s powerful Word will create and strengthen faith
in us and in those who hear His Word from us (Rm 10:17).
I pray: Dear God, I confess that in my sinful nature I am opposed to Your will and Your ways. Thank You for Your
powerful Word, which has brought me to faith in Jesus. May I use it to battle the evil within me and around me. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1861.
Acts 13:1–3 (ESV)
Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
13 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While
they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and
sent them off.
The momentous missionary journeys of Saul (later Paul) begin with the calling and equipping by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit calls us by the Gospel and enlightens
us with His gifts, especially those of teaching and spreading God’s Word, which we use in God’s service and to the benefit of others (cf 1Co 12).
I pray: Thank
You, God, for those whom Your Spirit has gifted to share Your Word in my life. Enable me to use my gifts to serve others in Jesus’ name. Amen.
A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House,
Acts 12:20–25 (ESV)
The Death of Herod
20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country
depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting,
“The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
24 But the word of God increased and multiplied.
Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.
Herod’s violence and intrigue illustrate
how evil breeds evil. Yet God can decisively topple evil. In mercy to us, He sent His Son to the cross to condemn evil and rescue us. Living in forgiveness, we eagerly await the day when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ takes us to live with Him forever in
I pray: “By all Your saints in warfare, For all Your saints at rest, Your holy name, O Jesus, Forevermore be blest! For You have won the battle That they
might wear the crown; And now they shine in glory Reflected from Your throne.” Amen. (LSB 517:1)
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1860.
Acts 12:6–19 (ESV)
Peter Is Rescued
6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And
behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him,
“Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by
the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went
along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were
12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark,
where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy
she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his
angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had
brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.
when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death.
Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.
The death of James at the hand of Herod and the imprisonment of Peter demonstrate the world’s hatred of the
Gospel. Yet, nothing can separate believers from the love of Christ. He fulfills His purpose for us in life and in death; therefore, we have joy.
I pray: Father, may
Rhoda’s joy at seeing Peter overflow in my life as I have fellowship with other believers. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1859.