The Book of Acts | Session 43 | Acts 3:17-39
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The Book of Acts | God’s Revelation of Transition

Session 43 | Acts 13:42-52

Acts 13:13-43 | Paul’s First Address to the Synagogue in Pisidian Antioch

  • Verses 13-16 included on session 40
  • Verses 17-31 included on session 41
  • Verses 32-41 included on session 42
  • Verse 42 –
    • With this new Gospel message of vv. 38-39, the Gentiles were the most eager (it appears) to hear the good news, for The Jews were gone out but the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
    • Note that this does not speak ill of the Jews (see the following verse), but rather speaks to the eager anticipation of the Gentiles, who, up to this point, had been without hope (Eph. 2:12).
    • Note that at this point there is no Sunday worship.
  • Verse 43 –
    • After the dismissal of the synagogue (the word congregation is a translation of συναγωγή [sunagoga], the Jews and religious proselytes (thus all of the Jewish faith) desired to hear more, and Paul persuaded them to continue in the grace of God, which required persuasion / convincing because it was new!

      Acts 13:44-53 | Paul’s Second Address to the Synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, and the Aftermath

  • Verse 44 –
    • The word of Paul’s message was clearly “the talk of the town,” and everyone wanted to hear what he had to say.
    • Archaeologists have discovered a Byzantine era church built on top of a large first century synagogue.
  • Verse 45 –
    • It is somewhat natural to be filled with envy when someone new comes along and preaches a different message and has dynamic success.
    • The Jews spoke against Paul, contradicting (ἀντιλέγω [antilego] - speaking opposite words) Paul and blaspheming (βλασφημέω [blasphameo] (speaking disrespectfully) ) him.
  • Verse 46 –
    • Paul says that it was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you.
      • Here Paul speaks of the word of God, a general term, rather than “my Gospel” or some other specific term.
      • The Jewish people had every opportunity to receive the word of God, which had been given to them as the chosen people. However, they rejected such a word, and in doing so judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life.
      • The people of Israel were deep in the process of the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, a national sin that relates to Israel alone.
    • Because of this turn of events, in the grace of God Paul was sent to turn to the Gentiles. This turn was totally unexpected by prophecy, and thus is one part of the mystery. Those who understand that this is the point at which gentile hope was given could be termed Pauline dispensationalists.
  • Verse 47 –
    • Paul quotes Isaiah 49:6 as his authority for turning to the Gentiles.
      • Being an Old Testament passage, this cannot be a direct message about Paul’s ministry (which, if it was, would contradict Ephesians 3:4-5, 8).
      • Furthermore, the passage is quoted in Luke 2:32 in reference to Jesus Christ Himself.
    • Thus, Paul is using Jewish teaching to say to the Jews, “God had promised that the Messianic word would someday go to the ends of the earth, and that day has come…before its expected time.”
  • Verse 48 –
    • The word ordained does not require predestination / Calvinism.
    • The word is τάσσω [tasso] which is “to set in order.” The preaching of the word of the Lord is what sets them in order, for faith cometh by hearing ( Rom. 10:17 ).
  • Verses 49-50 -
    • The word of the Lord was published throughout all the region both because of positive as well as negative response.
    • Even the stirring up of the men and women of the city and the persecution against Paul and Barnabus was used to help spread their notoriety (and notoriety opens doors for speaking opportunities!).
  • Verses 51-52 –
    • These two verses contain two interesting phrases. First, they shook off the dust of their feet as a message against them.
      • This could be a broad cultural statement such as don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
      • It was used in ### Matthew 10:14 as instructions for the Kingdom witnesses.
      • If it is related to that passage, then it is indication that the Jewish people were still under the Kingdom era.
      • Such a statement fits under the urgency of the Kingdom era, but hardly fits as a strategy for evangelism under the Gospel as now revealed. In this dispensation, we patiently return, seeking new opportunities to share the Gospel.
    • Second, the use of the term disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost. This title and description fits the Kingdom-era flock under Peter, but nothing would prohibit it from also being used of the grace-era flock under Paul.
KJV: Genesis 1