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ACTION IN ACTS  (PHASE  3)                                                                                     SESSION  2


                                                                   BIBLE READING  ACTS 13/5-12


Paul & Barnabas “hit the ground running”, so to speak. Their commissioning took place, not in Jerusalem as one might have expected, but in Antioch of Syria. It is highly likely that you have a map in the back of your Bible and it won’t be a waste of time to familiarise yourself with the names of the places mentioned and their location. Otherwise, why would Luke have been prompted to put them there?


Some people were delighted to welcome the two evangelists. Some were opposed to their presence, let alone their preaching.

A. Why Cyprus? We don’t know for sure. Maybe the Holy Spirit hadn’t finished speaking and what we have is the abridged version of the call and the “more fasting and prayer” (vs. 2,3) enabled them to hear more details?  Maybe they had heard something of the governor’s interest in the gospel?

Question:  In your own life and/or the life of your Church, is provision made for you to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit?

B. They confront opposition straight away in the person of Bar Jesus (Elymas), a Jewish sorcerer. Take time to look back at Acts 8/9-11 and recall another con-man, Simon. There are both differences and similarities between the two. Discuss those comparisons.

There’s no doubt that both men are agents of the dark kingdom. How did Simon attempt to deflect the attention of the people away from the gospel?  And why? The same questions can be asked of Elymas so far as Sergius Paulus is concerned? Elymas seems paranoid about losing his influence over the Governor.

Questions:  Who or what might be the equivalent today of Simon and Elymas? What do you make of Simon’s baptism? Genuine or not? How do you feel about Paul’s direct approach to Elymas?  I wonder how Paul felt as he pronounced the same judgment of blindness on Elymas as he had experienced on the Damascus Road?  (Acts 9/1-9) However, the “good guys” won the day, the Governor became a believer and Paul and Barnabas went on their way rejoicing.


Paul and Barnabas now travelled to Antioch in Pisidia. Did you notice the little aside that Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem? No further comment is made but that event was to erupt in a destructive way and cause great tension between Paul & Barnabas (15/36-40)

 Most of the rest of this chapter (13/14-43) is taken up reporting the sermon that Paul preached. Imagine that you (and your group) were given the task of analysing Paul’s sermon and preparing a set of outline notes for other groups

What historical points and people does he mention? What is the main emphasis of the message? How did people respond?

CONCLUSION: Is there any one aspect that you feel applies to you from Paul’s sermon?


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