Paul’s First Missionary Journey
Antioch in Pisidia
Follow on a map Paul and Barnabas’ journey after leaving Cyprus. What, if any, major cities did they pass through on their way to Antioch? How did they travel?
What happened in Perga?
We are not told why John Mark left Paul and Barnabas at this point. In Acts 15:36ff. When Paul and Barnabas were preparing for their second missionary journey a sharp division arose between them over whether or not they should take John Mark along. Paul seemed very opposed citing John Mark’s departure on this first missionary journey. That Mark and Paul were later reconciled can be seen from the several references to Mark in Paul’s epistles (cf. Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11; and Philemon 24).
How did Paul and Barnabas begin their missionary work in Antioch?
It was customary among the Jews of the Diaspora to grant visitors an opportunity to say something during the service on the Sabbath. These visitors were frequently religious teachers who would either comment on the Scripture readings of the day, or other Scripture readings. In addition they would frequently bring news from Jerusalem or Judea and so keep those Jews at a distance informed of what was happening in their "homeland."
Read Paul’s sermon in Acts 13:16-41 and summarize the key point of this first recorded sermon of St. Paul:
How did those listening to Paul react to his sermon?
What happened on the following Sabbath?
What was the result of the two missionaries’ extended work in Antioch?
Review Paul’s sermon and discuss how Paul presents God’s relationship with His people. How does Paul’s presentation compare to our conception of God’s relationship with us today? How does that presentation differ from the conception the world in general has of God’s relationship with human beings?
Discuss Paul’s summary of the important teaching of "subjective or personal justifica-tion" in Acts 13:38-39. Compare this teaching with that of "objective or universal justification" as presented in passages such as Romans 3:23-24 and 1 John 2:2. Then consider how both teachings are found side by side in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.
Review the Old Testament prophecies in Habakkuk 1:5 and Isaiah 49:6 cited by Paul in Antioch both as a warning to the Jews and as an encouragement to the Gentiles. How might they serve as both a warning and an encouragement for others and us today?
Review Acts 13:46,48 and discuss two important truths revealed there by Luke as he described the results of Paul’s missionary activities in Antioch.