Now Paul and his companions sailed from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; but [a]John [Mark] left them and went back to Jerusalem. Now they went on from Perga and arrived at Antioch in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the [writings of the] Prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers (kinsmen), if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand, he said,
“Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen! The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great and numerous during their stay [as foreigners] in the land of Egypt, and then with an [b]uplifted arm He led them out of there. For a period of about forty years He put up with their behavior in the wilderness. When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave their land [to our ancestors] as an inheritance—this took about four hundred and fifty years. After this, He gave them judges until the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king: of him He testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart [conforming to My will and purposes], who will do all My will.’ From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel a Savior, [in the person of] Jesus, according to His promise. Before [c]His coming John [the Baptist] had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course [of ministry], he kept saying, ‘What or who do you think that I am? I am not He [the Christ]; but be aware, One is coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie [even as His slave]!’
“Brothers, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation [obtained through faith in Jesus Christ]. For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, who failed to recognize or understand both Jesus and the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled these [very prophecies] by condemning Him. And though they found no cause or charge deserving death, they asked Pilate to have Him executed. And when they had finished carrying out everything that was written [in Scripture] about Him, they took Him down from the [d]cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days (forty) He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. And we are bringing you the good news of the promise made to our fathers (ancestors), that God has completely fulfilled this promise to our children by raising up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten (fathered) You.’ And [as for the fact] that He raised Him from the dead, never again to return to decay [in the grave], He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David [those blessings and mercies that were promised to him].’ For this reason He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see decay.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was buried among his fathers and experienced decay [in the grave]; but He whom God raised [to life] did not experience decay [in the grave]. So let it be clearly known by you, brothers, that through Him forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you; and through Him everyone who believes [who acknowledges Jesus as Lord and Savior and follows Him] is [e]justified and declared free of guilt from all things, from which you could not be justified and freed of guilt through the Law of Moses. Therefore be careful, so that the thing spoken of in the [writings of the] Prophets does not come upon you:
‘Look, you mockers, and marvel, and perish and vanish away;
For I am doing a work in your days,
A work which you will never believe, even if someone describes it to you [telling you about it in detail].’”
- Acts 13:13 John Mark and Barnabas were cousins and his departure caused a rift between Paul and Barnabas (15:37-39). The reason for his departure is not stated in Scripture.
- Acts 13:17 The symbol of God’s great power.
- Acts 13:24 Lit the face of His entering, representing a Hebrew/Aramaic idiom (and indicating that Paul was speaking in Aramaic).
- Acts 13:29 Lit wood.
- Acts 13:39 Because of one’s personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, God graciously credits His righteousness to the believer. Justification denotes a legal standing with God as designated only by God. God declares a believer to be acquitted (absolved, freed of all charges), then designates the believer to be brought into right standing before Him.