Coachlight Bible Study - Acts Chapter 13 &14

The Mystery of Broken Branches and Wild Olive Trees


   So far in the book of Acts, we have not seen the spreading of the Gospel to the Gentiles in the proportion of Christ's words:


Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {teach: or, make disciples, or, Christians of all nations}


  3100 mayhteuw matheteuo math-ayt-yoo’-o

from 3101; TDNT-4:461,552; v

AV-teach 2, instruct 1, be disciple 1; 4

1) to be a disciple of one

1a) to follow his precepts and instructions

2) to make a disciple

2a) to teach, instruct


The door was opened in the baptizing of Cornelius and his house; but since then we had the gospel preached to the Jews only,


Acts 11:19  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.


But in chapter 13, we begin to see the Jews having the Gospel offered to them first, and begin to see God's mystery revealed


The first seven chapters of Acts could be named, The Church among the Jews;  the next five (chapters eight through twelve), The Church in Transition from Jews to Gentiles;  and the last sixteen (chapters thirteen through twenty-eight), The Church among the Gentiles


In chapters 13 and 14 we have Paul' and Barnabas' first Missionary Journey.  They will witness miracles, opposition, and disciple many converts.


I. State of the Church at Antioch in Syria - Planted in Acts 11 - Prophets & Teachers – (Vs. 1-2)

A. As Barnabas.

B. Simeon,  or Simon,  who for distinction-sake was called Niger,  Simon the Black,  from the colour of his hair not much more is known of him.

C. Lucius of Cyrene - mentioned in letter to Romans as one of Paul's kinsman


Romans 16:21  Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you..

D. Manaen - or Menahem, the name of one of the kings of Israel II Kings 15:14 - Foster brother of Herod Antipas:  Herod the tetrarch - that is, Antipas, who was himself "brought up with a certain private person at Rome" JOSEPHUS, Antiquities,  17.1,3. How different did these two foster brothers turn out - Herod, given to a life stained with the blood of the most distinguished of Gods prophets, though not without his fits of reformation and seasons of remorse; the other, a devoted disciple of the Lord Jesus and prophet of the Church at Antioch! The nobelman, whose son, at the point of death, was healed by Christ (John 4:46) was of Herods establishment, while Joanna, who ministered to Christ, was his steward (Luke 8:3)

E. And Saul - last of all, but the Book of Acts switches from Peter's ministry to Paul's


II. Divine Commission of Paul and Barnabas – (Vs. 3-4)

A. They ministered unto the Lord - (prayer, exhortation, fasting, studing the Word)

3008 leitourgew leitourgeo li-toorg-eh’-o  - The word liturgy grows out of this use.

AV-minister 3; 3

1) to serve the state at one’s own cost

1a) to assume an office which must be administered at one’s own expense

1b) to discharge a public office at one’s own cost

1c) to render public service to the state

2) to do a service, perform a work

2a) of priests and Levites who were busied with the sacred rites in the tabernacle or the temple (Luke 1:23)

2b) of Christians serving Christ, whether by prayer, or by instructing others concerning the way of salvation, or in some other way

2c) of those who aid others with their resources, and relieve their poverty


Romans 15:27  It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.


But in the same chapter, Paul used the word 1247 diakonew diakoneo dee-ak-on-eh’-o  when he was ministering to the saints of Jerusalem Romans 15:25


Romans 15:25  But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.


B. As they ministered to the Lord, the Holy Ghost separated them for the work


C. The Holy Spirit has the nomination of his ministers - Afterwards the church:

1. Fasted

2. Prayed

3. Layed hands on them


III. Preachng in the Synagogues – With John Mark (Vs. 5)

A. Barnabas and Saul went to the famous island of Cyprus, probably because Barnabas was a native of that country


Acts 4:36  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

1. They went to Seleucia,  - sea port town opposite to Cyprus,

2. They crossed the sea to the island of Cyprus

3. They went to the first city they came to, Salamis, a city on the east side of the island

4. They preached to the Jews


B. They had also John for their minister


5257 uperethv huperetes hoop-ay-ret’-ace

from 5259 and a derivative of eresso (to row); TDNT-8:530,1231; n m

AV-officer 11, minister 5, servant 4; 20

1) servant

1a) an underrower, subordinate rower

1b) any one who serves with hands: a servant

1b1) in the NT of the officers and attendants of magistrates as-of the officer who executes penalties

1b2) of the attendants of a king, servants, retinue, the soldiers of a king, of the attendant of a synagogue

1b3) of any one ministering or rendering service

1c) any one who aids another in any work

1c1) an assistant

1c2) of the preacher of the gospel

{As their attendant} Literally,  "under-rower" Probably here minister or assistant in the synagogue as when Jesus was in the synagogue:


Luke 4:20  And he closed the book, and he gave it  again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.


John  Mark was evidently selected by Barnabas as his cousin.  He may have helped in the baptizing. The "also" may mean that Mark did some preaching. Barnabas was probably the leader in the work in these Jewish synagogues.


C. They went on to the western coast of Cyprus to Paphos

IV. Controversy with Bar-jesus at Paphos – (Vs. 6-13)

A. The Governor lived at Paphos

B. Paphos famous for a temple built to Venus

C. The deputy wanted to hear Paul & Barnabas

D. Bar-jesus - a Jew,  a sorcerer,  did all he could to obstruct their progress - keep the depty from the faith

E. Saul also called Paul - his Roman name - a Hebrew of the tribe of Benjamin- filled with the Holy Ghost describes Bar-jesus

1. Full of subtilty and all mischief

2. Child of the devil

3. Enemy of all righteousness - perverting the ways of the Lord

F. The deputy believed after he saw the Lord strike the sorcerer blind.

G. Paul went to Perga in Pamphylia -

1. Known for a temple to goddess Diana

2. Doesn't say Paul did anything there except leave

H. John went to Jerusalem - without the consent of Paul and Barnabas; some say he did not like the work, or he wanted to go and see his mother. It was his doing,  and we will see this controversy again in chapter 15.

V. Paul Preaches on the first Sabbath at Antioch of Pisidia – (Vs. 14-33)

A. They went to another Antioch - in Pisidia, different from Antioch in Syria from which they were sent out.

B. Pisidia was a province of the Lesser Asia,  bordering on Pamphylia

C. This city of Antioch was the main city of Pisidia and had many Jews - to them the gospel was to be first preached;

D.  The invitation given the apostles to preach. - the word exhortation - 3874 paraklhsiv paraklesis par-ak’-lay-sis

E. Who was Paul Speaking to - men of Isreal and those that fear God

F. He preached to the Jews to receive and embrace Christ as the promised Messiah.

1. The God of the world was the God of Isreal - He called them

2. That He had chosen their fathers  to be His friends -  Abraham was called the friend of God;

3. He had delivered the captives out of Egypt

4. He had given them land

5. He had governed them with judges- until Samuel

6. He governed them by the  prophet,  Samuel,  a man divinely inspired to govern

7. He governed them with a king when they wanted one

a. First of all Saul of the tribe of Benjamin

b. Then David of the tribe of Judah - whose seed would lead to Christ

8. John the Baptist preceded Him with baptism of repentance

9. Jesus brought the plan of salvation to the Jews

10. They saw no reason to kill him, but desired Pilot to do it.

11. Jesus was burried

12. God raised Him from the dead - seen by many witnesses - proof He is the Son of God

13. By Him you could have justification which the Law could not give

14. That they did not have to perish

G.When the Jews left the synagogue, the Gentiles asked to have this message preached to them

V. Paul Preaches on the Second Sabbath - great attendance - almost the whole city of Antioch – (Vs. 44-50)

A. The Jews were envious and opposed Paul and Barnabas

1.Contradicted Paul

2. Blasphemed God


Acts 13:46  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

B. The Gentiles heard this

1. They were glad

2. They glorified the Word of God

C. The Word of God was published throughout all the region

D. Jews kicked out Paul and Barnabas - Jews stirred up other devout Jews in area

1. They kicked off the dust of their feet against them

2. They went to Iconium

3. They were filled with joy

4. They were filled with the Holy Ghost

VI. The  Ministry at Iconium - Jews and Greeks together in the synagogue – (Vs. 13:51-14:5)

A. Paul and Barnabas spent a long time speaking in the Lord

1. Gave testimony of His grace

2. Granted signs and wonders from their hands

3. Many Jews and Greeks believed

B. The unbeliving Jews stirred up the Gentile in opposition to the apostles

C. The Jews plan to stone the aposles - they knew it and went to Lystra and Derby of Lycaonia

VII. A Lame Man Is Healed at Lystra – (Vs. 6-10)

A. The Apostles preached the gospel in the area of Lystra

B. A man crippled so that he had never walked heard Paul speak

C. Paul saw he had faith, and told him to stand up - he did

VIII. The Apostles Refuse To Be Worshiped – (Vs. 11-18)

A. The people mistake the apostles for their pagan gods

1. They called Barnabas Jupiter

2. They called Paul Mercury because he was the chief speaker

3. The priest of Jupiter tried to get the people to do sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas

B. The apostles tear their clothes and preach

1.We also are men like you

2.You should turn from Idols to the living God

3. God created everything

4. In times past let people do their own thing - but left a witness of himself - Natural Theology

a. He did good

b. He gave rain from heaven

c. He gave us fruitful seasons

d. He filled our hearts with food and gladness

e. Paul teaches Natural Theology in Romans 1:


16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. {in them: or, to them}

20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: {so…: or, that they may be}

21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. {more: or, rather}

26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; {to retain: or, to acknowledge} {a reprobate…: or, a mind void of judgment or, an unapproving mind}

29  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: {without natural…: or unsociable}

32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. {have…: or, consent with}


5. This almost didn't stop the sacrifice

IX. Paul Is Stoned By Jews from Antioch and Pisidia – (Vs. 19)

A. They sturred up the people against Paul

B. They stoned Paul

C. Thinking Paul dead, they took him out of the city

D. The apostles around him, Paul rose up and went back to the city

X. Paul and Barnabas went to Derbe and preached and taught many – (Vs. 20)


3100 mayhteuw matheteuo math-ayt-yoo’-o

from 3101; TDNT-4:461,552; v

AV-teach 2, instruct 1, be disciple 1; 4

1) to be a disciple of one

1a) to follow his precepts and instructions

2) to make a disciple

2a) to teach, instruct


A. Confirmed the souls of the disciples

    1991 episthrizw episterizo ep-ee-stay-rid’-zo

from 1909 and 4741; TDNT-7:653,1085; v

AV-confirm 3, strengthen 1; 4

1) to establish besides, strengthen more

2) to render more firm, confirm


B. Exhorting them to continue in the faith

  3870 parakalew parakaleo par-ak-al-eh’-o

from 3844 and 2564; TDNT-5:773,778; v

AV-beseech 43, comfort 23, exhort 21, desire 8, pray 6, intreat 3, misc 4, vr besought 1; 109

1) to call to one’s side, call for, summon

2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.

2a) to admonish, exhort

2b) to beg, entreat, beseech

2b1) to strive to appease by entreaty

2c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort

2c1) to receive consolation, be comforted

2d) to encourage, strengthen

2e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging

2f) to instruct, teach


C. Told them to continue in the faith

D. When they choose Elders in every church

  4245 presbuterov presbuteros pres-boo’-ter-os

comparative of presbus (elderly); TDNT-6:651,931; adj

AV-elder 64, old man 1, eldest 1, elder woman 1; 67

1) elder, of age,

1a) the elder of two people

1b) advanced in life, an elder, a senior

1b1) forefathers

2) a term of rank or office

2a) among the Jews

2a1) members of the great council or Sanhedrin (because in early times the rulers of the people, judges, etc., were selected from elderly men)

2a2) of those who in separate cities managed public affairs and administered justice

2b) among the Christians, those who presided over the assemblies (or churches) The NT uses the term bishop, elders, and presbyters interchangeably

2c) the twenty four members of the heavenly Sanhedrin or court seated on thrones around the throne of God

E. They had prayed with fasting, commending them to the Lord

XI. They returned to Perga, Attalia, preaching the Word.

XII.Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch in Syria and give a report – (Vs. 26-28)

A. All that God had done with them

B. How God opened the door of faith to the Gentile

XIII. To Find the Mystery of the Ages we must go to Genesis:

   A. Can We Find Out In Genesis?


   First Clue...Christ is called the "Second Man"

   (I Corinthians 15:47), and "Last Adam" (I Corinthians 15:45)


   A beautiful picture in Genesis


 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and

 he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh

 instead thereof;


   Adam slept - God created from his wounded side a wife -

   part of himself - He paid for her by the shedding of blood. 

   When Adam woke up he said:


 2:23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of 

 my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of

 Man.  2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother,

 and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.


   A dim picture - Let Paul shed some light.  Speaking of the

   union of believers in Christ he says in the book of Ephesians:


 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and

 shall  be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and

 the church.


   Now all is clear - Adam is a picture of Christ, who left His

   Father's  house to gain His bride, at the price of His own life.

   Jesus, the Last Adam, like the first, must be put to sleep to

   Purchase   His bride, the church, and Jesus died on the cross and

   Slept for three days in the tomb.  His side too, was opened

   After He had fallen asleep, and from that wounded side

   redemption flowed.


   The church - His body also purchased.  The church, like Eve,

   was a new creation, not by a natural birth, but by a supernatural operation by God.


   XIV. If the Gosel was Sent to the Jew By God, Why Did They Oppose It – Mystery Revealed


Romans 11:7-29 

7  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded {blinded: or, hardened}

8  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. {slumber: or, remorse}

9  And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:

10  Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

11  I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

12  Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? {diminishing: or, decay, or, loss}

13  For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

14  If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

15  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

16  For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

17  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; {among them: or, for them}

18  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

19  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

21  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

23  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

24  For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. {blindness: or, hardness}

26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28  As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.