Acts 13:1-3-There were numerous prophets and teachers in the church in Antioch...Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen ("who had been brought up" is the word for "foster brother"), and Saul. God spoke to them and told them to set apart Barnabas and Saul for a special ministry that He has planned for them. So, they fasted, prayed, laid hands on them...then sent them away. This is the beginning of Paul’s first missionary journey.
For a map of Paul’s Missionary Journeys see:
For a timeline of Paul’s life see:
Acts 13:4-12-They went to Seleucia, then to Salamis, Cyprus...and proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues. John Mark was their helper (see :13, also cf. 15:37-39-Barnabas wants to take him on the second trip but Paul refuses because he had deserted them on the first trip at Pamphylia). In the city of Paphos, they encountered a magician named Bar-Jesus (a Jewish false prophet, :6)...who was with the proconsul (Roman senatorial province), Sergius Paulus (an intelligent man). Paulus sent for them because he wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician (his Greek name was Elymas, :8) was against it...trying to keep the proconsul from becoming a believer (:8). When Paul saw this, he condemned him as a fraud, an advocate of the devil, and the enemy of righteousness, who was trying to degrade the work of God. He then declared that Bar-Jesus would be blind for a period of time...and it immediately happened. When the proconsul saw this, he believed, "being amazed at the teaching of the Lord" (:12).
Acts 13:13-23-Saul (his Hebrew name) now begins to be referred to as Paul (his Roman, or Gentile name). The group now goes to Perga, Pamphylia...it is here that John Mark leaves them and returns to Jerusalem (:13). They then travel to Pisidian Antioch...and went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. The synagogue official asked if they would like to speak. Paul gives a brief history of Israel...leading to the birth of the Savior, Jesus (:23).
Prayer: Father, what a difference I see between the response of people to the message of Jesus. Some were immediately drawn to the faith, some immediately opposed it, and some seemed unresponsive. But regardless, they kept on preaching and witnessing. Please help me to do the same. Sometimes it is easy to become discouraged when people do not respond positively. I take it personal...that they are rejecting me. In a sense, I know that is true. But help me to realize that ultimately it is not about me (whether I am accepted, or rejected)...it is about Jesus. Help me to keep my focus on Jesus...not on myself, and not on the response of those that I tell about Him.