Paul’s First Missionary Journey Begins
(Acts 15:36–41; Acts 18:23–28)
1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch), and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 And after they had fasted and prayed, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
4 So Barnabas and Saul, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. And John was with them as their helper.
6 They traveled through the whole island as far as Paphos, where they found a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, a man of intelligence, summoned Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.
9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked directly at Elymas 10 and said, “O child of the devil and enemy of all righteousness, you are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery! Will you never stop perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 Now look, the hand of the Lord is against you, and for a time you will be blind and unable to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.
In Pisidian Antioch
13 After setting sail from Paphos, Paul and his companions came to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 And from Perga, they traveled inland to Pisidian Antioch, where they entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue leaders sent word to them: “Brothers, if you have a word of encouragement for the people, please speak.”
16 Paul stood up, motioned with his hand, and began to speak: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who fear God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers. He made them into a great people during their stay in Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out of that land. 18 He endured their conduct for about forty years in the wilderness. 19 And having vanquished seven nations in Canaan, He gave their land to His people as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.
After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21 Then the people asked for a king, and God gave them forty years under Saul son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin. 22 After removing Saul, He raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after My own heart; he will carry out My will in its entirety.’ a
23 From the descendants of this man, God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as He promised. 24 Before the arrival of Jesus, John preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his course, he said, ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not that One. But He is coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ b
26 Brothers, children of Abraham, and you Gentiles who fear God, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning Him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 And though they found no ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have Him executed.
29 When they had carried out all that was written about Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead, 31 and for many days He was seen by those who had accompanied Him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now His witnesses to our people.
‘You are My Son;
today I have become Your Father.’ c
34 In fact, God raised Him from the dead, never to see decay. As He has said:
‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’ d
35 So also, He says in another Psalm:
‘You will not let Your Holy One see decay.’ e
38 Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. 40 Watch out, then, that what was spoken by the prophets does not happen to you:
41 ‘Look, you scoffers,
wonder and perish!
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would never believe,
even if someone told you.’ f”
A Light for the Gentiles
42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people urged them to continue this message on the next Sabbath. 43 After the synagogue was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
44 On the following Sabbath, nearly the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they blasphemously contradicted what Paul was saying.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. But since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ g”
50 The Jews, however, incited the religious women of prominence and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of their district. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
22 a See 1 Samuel 13:14.
25 b Luke 3:16;see also Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:7, and John 1:27.
33 c Psalm 2:7;literally today I have begotten You
34 d Literally I will give you the holy, the trustworthy of David ; Isaiah 55:3
35 e Psalm 16:10
41 f Habakkuk 1:5 (see also LXX)
47 g Isaiah 49:6