Acts 13 Bible Study


Acts 13 Outline


– The Holy Spirit wanted Saul and Barnabas set apart for God’s work (Acts 13:1-3)

– Saul and Barnabas brought John as their helper and they preached the gospel in Salamis (Acts 13:4-5)

– Saul and Barnabas arrived at Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 13:6)

– A proconsul named Sergius Paulus sent for Saul and Barnabas to hear the gospel (Acts 13:7)

– Elymas, a sorcerer tried to turned the proconsul away from faith (Acts 13:8)

– Saul rebuked Elymas and prophesied he will become blind for some time and it happened (Acts 13:9-11)

– The proconsul came to the faith in Jesus Christ upon seeing Elymas became blind (Acts 13:12)

– John left Saul and Barnabas to go back to Jerusalem at Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 13:13)

– Paul and his companion preached the gospel to the Jews and gentiles in the church in Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:14-41)

– Paul and Barnabas were invited to speak further about the gospel on the following Sabbath at the church in Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:42-43)

– The entire city come to hear God’s word on the following Sabbath and the Jews were jealous against them (Acts 13:44-45)

– Paul and Barnabas announced that the gospel is for the gentiles as well since the Jews had rejected it (Acts 13:46-47)

– Many gentiles came to believe in Jesus Christ (Acts 13:48)

– The Jews gained support of high standing people to get rid of Paul and Barnabas from the city (Acts 13:49-50)

– Paul and Barnabas shook the dust of their feet and went to Iconium (Acts 13:51-52)



Acts 13 Summary


There were a number of teachers and prophets at the church in Antioch including Barnabas, Simeon who was known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen and Saul. Manaen was brought up along with Herod the tetrarch. The Holy Spirit instructed them to set apart Barnabas and Saul to do the work God called them to do during the time they worshiped and fasted. Therefore, they sent them off to do God’s work. They took John along as their helper.

Saul and Barnabas went to Seleucia, Cyprus and then to Salamis. They preached the gospel at the church in Salamis. After that, they came to Paphos where they encountered a Jewish sorcerer, who was also a false prophet called Bar Jesus. Bar Jesus was an attendant to Sergius Paulus, the proconsul. Sergius Paulus sent for Saul and Barnabas because he wanted to hear about the gospel.

However, a sorcerer named Elymas tried to turn him away. Saul, also known as Paul, rebuked Elymas and prophesy that he will now be blind for a while because God’s hand is against him. Immediately after that, Elymas became blind. When the proconsul saw that, he came to the faith in Jesus Christ.

Later, Paul and his companions traveled to Perga in Pamphylia from Paphos and then to Pisidian Antioch. The helper they brought along, John, left them to go back to Jerusalem after they arrived in Perga. While in Pisidian Antioch, they entered the synagogue. The synagogue rulers asked them to share a message of encouragement after the reading of the Law and Prophets.

Then, Paul waved his hand to the crowd and preached the gospel to them. He told them how the Israelites multiplied in Egypt and how God led them out from slavery in Egypt to Canaan. God helped the Israelites to conquer 7 nations in Canaan and gave the land to them as promised to Abraham. It was the Jews who asked Pilate to execute Jesus Christ and crucify him on the cross. After Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross and died, they buried him in a tomb. God raised Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day. Jesus Christ appeared to several disciples before ascended into the heavens.

Paul and Barnabas were invited to speak further on the gospel on the next Sabbath at the synagogue. On the following Sabbath, the entire city assembled to hear they talking about the gospel. This aroused the jealousy of the Jews and they criticized Paul vehemently. Paul said the gospel was first preached to the Jews but because the Jews rejected the message, they now turned to the Gentiles. Many Gentiles believed in Jesus Christ.

The Jews stirred up persecution by getting the supports of God fearing women and leading men in the high positions of the city. They expelled Paul and Barnabas. After that, they shook the dust from their feet against them and traveled to Iconium. The disciples rejoiced and were filled with the Holy Spirit.



Acts 13 Bible Study


1. Set apart yourself to God

In Acts 13:1-3, the Holy Spirit instructed for Barnabas and Saul to be set apart to do the work God called them to do. To be used by God, we must set ourselves apart from the things that prevent us from serving him. We must be completely set apart in order to offer our lives as sacrifices to God to serve him. In Ephesians 2:10, we are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God had prepared us to do in advanced. In 2 Timothy 2:20-21, in a large house there are not just gold and silver articles but also wood and clay articles. Some articles can be used for noble purposes while others are used for ignoble purposes. Anyone who cleanses himself from the latter can be an instrument for noble purposes.

Every believer must serve God in some ways. In Ephesians 4:1, Paul urged the Christians in Ephesus to live a life worthy of the calling they receive. Everyone has a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit. You should use your spiritual gift to serve God and further his kingdom on earth. There are a variety of spiritual gifts including the word of wisdom; word of knowledge by the same Spirit, faith, gifts of healing by the same Spirit, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). In Ephesians 4:11-12, God gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for his works so that the body of Christ can be built up until we reach unity in faith and in the knowledge of the son of God.

2. Sorcery and witchcraft are of the devil

In Acts 13:6-7, Paul and his companions encountered a sorcerer named Bar Jesus. In Galatians 5:19-21, those who practice witchcraft will not inherit the kingdom of God. In Leviticus 19:26 and Deuteronomy 18:14, God forbids practicing sorcery. Witchcraft also means speaking evil against someone. We must be careful with what we say with our mouth and not curse people. When you say bad things about people, you are cursing them. We must bless people and not curse people (Romans 12:14; James 3:10).

3. Spiritual blindness

Elymas suffered spiritual blindness. He himself don’t want to believe in Jesus Christ but he sinned further by trying to lead someone who want to believe from Jesus away from the gospel. As a result, Paul proclaimed God’s judgment on him and he became blind. When Paul was on the road to Damascus, God shone a bright light from heaven down on him and he became blind. Paul did repent later and Ananias prayed for him and he received his eyesight back. Some people cannot understand the gospel or God’s words because their spiritual eyes are not opened (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Romans 11:8; John 9:39; Matthew 13:16; Romans 11:25). If you are praying for someone to come to the faith in Jesus Christ, you should pray for God to open his spiritual eyes so that he can understand the gospel. Before reading the bible, you should pray for God to open your spiritual eyes so that you understand what you are reading.