As Paul and Barnabas were leaving [the synagogue], the people kept begging that these things might be spoken to them on the next Sabbath. When the congregation of the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and the devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, talking to them were urging them to continue in the grace of God.
Paul Turns to the Gentiles
On the next Sabbath almost the entire [a]city gathered together to hear the word of the Lord [about salvation through faith in Christ]. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things said by Paul, and were slandering him. And [at the same time] Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and confidently, saying, “It was necessary that God’s message [of salvation through faith in Christ] be spoken to you [Jews] first. Since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, now we turn to the Gentiles. For that is what the Lord has commanded us, saying,
‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,
So that You may bring [the message of eternal] salvation to the end of the earth.’”
When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying [praising and giving thanks for] the word of the Lord; and all those who had been appointed (designated, ordained) to eternal life [by God] believed [in Jesus as the Christ and their Savior]. And so the word of the Lord [regarding salvation] was being spread through the entire region. But the Jews incited the devout, prominent women and the leading men of the city, and instigated persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them forcibly out of their district. But [b]they shook its dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were continually filled [throughout their hearts and souls] with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 13:44 Antioch in Pisidia.
- Acts 13:51 A symbolic act expressing contempt for a place that had rejected the message of salvation.
Acceptance and Opposition
Now in Iconium Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue together and spoke in such a way [with such power and boldness] that a large number of Jews as well as Greeks believed [and confidently accepted Jesus as Savior]; but the unbelieving Jews [who rejected Jesus as Messiah] stirred up and embittered the minds of the Gentiles against the [a]believers. So Paul and Barnabas stayed for a long time, speaking boldly and confidently for the Lord, who continued to testify to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders (attesting miracles) be done by them. But the people of the city were divided; some were siding with the Jews, and some with the apostles. When there was an attempt by both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with their rulers, to shamefully mistreat and to stone them, they, aware of the situation, escaped to Lystra and Derbe, [taking refuge in the] cities of Lycaonia, and the neighboring region; and there they continued to preach the good news.
- Acts 14:2 Lit brethren.