The Book of Acts | Session 44 | Acts 3:17-39
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The Book of Acts | God’s Revelation of Transition

Session 44 | Acts 13:49-14:6

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

  • Verses 44-48 included on session 43
  • 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.

      Acts 14:1-6 | Paul’s Ministry in Iconium

  • Verse 1 –
    • Leaving Antioch, they traveled east to Iconium, as mentioned in Acts 13:51.
    • Both Paul and Barnabus went into the synagogue of the Jews to speak.
      • I find it interesting that this is the first time that Luke clarifies that the synagogue is of the Jews.
      • From this point on, with few exceptions, he either uses this phrase or some clarifying contextual information to note to the reader that there is a Jewish context.
    • Because the word Gentiles (ethnos) is used in verse 2, the use of the word Greeks here is likely a reference to Hellenistic Jews. This is not certain, however. This is the first time Luke uses the term Greeks. We will examine each usage along the way to see if it fits with Hellenist throughout.
    • Because of his speech (for “faith cometh by hearing”), a great multitude of the synagogue believed. There is no reason to believe this is anything other than the grace gospel.
  • Verse 2 –
    • The unbelieving Jews now seem concerned with what the Gentiles believe.
      • This is further indication that Paul is speaking of the Gospel of grace, not the Kingdom Gospel.
      • The unbelieving Jews must have considered Paul’s message to be a perversion of Judaism and therefore a threat to “true” Judaism.
    • In order to protect their Judaism, they poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against the brethren.
  • Verse 3 –
    • As they were speaking boldly of the word of his grace (i.e.: the Pauline gospel), the Lord granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
      • These signs and wonders are something that appear to be given to the Jews, for the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom (1 Cor. 1:22).
      • It was not immature for the Jews to require a sign, but rather based on their Hebrew Scriptures which demanded visible evidence of new prophetic utterance.
      • God is not condescending to their demands, but rather providing them that which He instructed them to expect.
    • Note that, beginning in verse 8, there were often disastrous results when signs and wonders were displayed in Gentile audiences.
  • Verse 4 –
    • With the Gentile world eager to hear the new message and the Jewish world concerned that the new message was cultic, it is no surprise that the multitude of the city was divided between the traditional Jews and with the apostles.
    • Here, the apostolic title is given both to Paul and to Barnabus (see also v. 14).
      • Note that while we normally only refer to 12 apostles plus Paul, the 13th, the Bible is not as strict in its usage of the term.
      • However, there is no indication that apostles existed prior to the time of Jesus nor after the time of the Kingdom offer.
      • One mark of apostleship was the performance of signs and wonders.
  • Verses 5-6 –
    • The Greek word for assault is ὁρμή [hormey], but it is only used and in James 3:4, where it is not even translated in the KJV.
    • In James 3:4, the Young’s Literal translates as impulse.
    • In verse 6, it becomes clear that an actual assault was not carried out, but the plan was in motion.
    • With this threat, they left to the nearby cities, moving eastward, where they would preach the same grace Gospel.
KJV: Genesis 1