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Barnabas and Saul Commissioned


Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. 2While 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.” 3Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

The Apostles Preach in Cyprus

4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. 6When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. 7He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. 8But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand. 12When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

Paul and Barnabas in Antioch of Pisidia

13 Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem; 14but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15After the reading of the law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, give it.” 16So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak:

“You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. 17The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18For about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. 19After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance 20for about four hundred fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. 21Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. 22When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.’ 23Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; 24before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25And as John was finishing his work, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.’

26 “My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. 27Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him. 28Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed. 29When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30But God raised him from the dead; 31and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people. 32And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors 33he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm,

‘You are my Son;

today I have begotten you.’

34 As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,

‘I will give you the holy promises made to David.’

35 Therefore he has also said in another psalm,

‘You will not let your Holy One experience corruption.’

36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and experienced corruption; 37but he whom God raised up experienced no corruption. 38Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; 39by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40Beware, therefore, that what the prophets said does not happen to you:


‘Look, you scoffers!

Be amazed and perish,

for in your days I am doing a work,

a work that you will never believe, even if someone tells you.’ ”

42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people urged them to speak about these things again the next sabbath. 43When the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many 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 The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. 46Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. 47For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles,

so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers. 49Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region. 50But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region. 51So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. 52And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

47. As he hath commanded. The place is taken out of Isaiah, where, notwithstanding, God doth rather speak unto his Son than unto the apostles. But we must note, that many things which the Scripture attributeth to Christ do appertain unto his ministers. I say many things; not all things: for there be certain titles proper to the person of Christ, wherewith to adorn the ministers were wicked sacrilege. Christ is called our Righteousness, because he was the only purging sacrifice, 834834     “Victima expiatrix,” expiatory victim and hath reconciled the Father to us by his death, and did rise again afterward, that, having overcome death, he might purchase for us eternal life. Therefore the whole substance of our salvation is in Christ’s person; but inasmuch as he worketh by his ministers, by resigning to them his office, he doth also impart with [to] them his titles. Of this sort is the preaching of the gospel. He alone was appointed by the Father to be our teacher; but he hath put in his place pastors and doctors, who speak, as it were, out of his mouth. So that the authority remaineth wholly to him, and he is nevertheless heard in his ministers. Therefore Paul doth fitly apply unto himself the testimony of Isaiah, where he intreateth of the preaching of the gospel.

I have made thee a light. It should seem that he speaketh in that place of such a calling of the Gentiles as doth not carry with it the casting off of the old people. For God doth rather associate strangers unto the Jews, who were before of the household. It is but a small matter, saith he, that thou be my minister in teaching Israel, because I have made thee a light to the Gentiles. God doth seem to begin his Church among the children of Abraham, and, that done, to reach out his hand to the Gentiles, that they may both make one Church by one consent of faith. But Paul doth in such sort cite the prophecy, as if it could not be fulfilled unless the Jews had been cast off. For he signifieth that the light of Christ was lighted to the Gentiles, after that they were cast into the darkness of death. I answer, that this cannot be necessarily proved out of the text, that Paul doth affirm that the Gentiles could not have been illuminated before the light of the Jews had been put out. For this may be the sense, Forasmuch as you have deprived yourselves of eternal life, there is no cause why ye should think that the grace of God is profaned, if, leaving you, we take care and charge of the Gentiles; for the Messiah is not given to you alone, but he is appointed to be the Savior of the whole world; as it is written, “I have made thee,” etc.; although, if you weigh the place of the prophet more thoroughly, you shall find the casting off of the old people included therein. For God pronounceth that he will be glorious and renowned in the ministry of Christ, though Israel be not gathered together. He addeth afterward, by way of exposition, that the power of Christ shall not be restrained unto one people only, because his light shall shed abroad his beams unto the farthest parts of the world unto salvation. It seemeth that Paul noteth this occasion of calling the Gentiles, namely, because, seeing he found no matter to exercise himself in among the Jews, he gave himself wholly to the Gentiles. We must note this by the way, in the words of the prophet, that salvation is put after light, according to that saying of Christ,

“This is eternal life, to know thee, the true God,” etc.
(John 17:3.)

For if the knowledge of God alone bring to us salvation, it is likewise the only resurrection from destruction of eternal death, for us to be illuminated into the faith of Christ, after that we be delivered from the darkness of ignorance.

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