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Default Day 316: Acts 13-15 - 10-19-2016, 04:06 PM

Acts 13
Barnabas, Saul, and the Bitter Jew
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

We donít know if the Holy Ghost walked right up to the fellows and spoke, like Yahweh did back in the Old Testament times (Genesis 3:8; 26:24; Exodus 24:9Ė11; 33:11), but He decided that He, Barnabas and Saul were going on a special road trip. Just the three of them.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

The Holy Ghost sent Himself and the others to an Island kingdom in the Mediterranean, where they preached about Jesus and Salvation to the Jews who lived there (Acts 13:5).

6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

A false prophet named Barjesus, no I mean Elymas, kept trolling them, making people think they would be idiots to believe these stories (Acts 13:6-8). But Saul, no I mean Paul, was filled with the Holy Ghost and in an epic moment of divine revenge, blinded that bitter Jew with great flair (Acts 13:9-11)

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

The Jews were a bit afraid of these foreigners who could blind them, so they shaped up and listened real well. Then when they heard and considered what Saul, I mean Paul and Barnabas were saying, they were convinced it was all true.

13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

We donít know when John joined them or if he was a stowaway, the bible doesnít say, but at some point he showed up and now heís leaving.

Paul Preaches to Sell-Out Crowds in Antioch

42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

Paul gives the Jews the Readerís Digest version of the Old Testament to the Jews at service, and let them know what happened in the New Testament, with some vague prophecies from the Old that prove what theyíre saying is true (Acts 13:14-41). The Gentiles heard the commotion and they wanted to hear all this stuff, too.

Paul and Barnabas Bring in the Pagans

46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

The Jews were conflicted in their feelings. Many of them were inspired by the words Paul and Barnabas said. Others hated sharing the Gospel with the natives of the island, so they started to troll Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:44-46). Remember that Paul doesnít like to be trolled. He didnít blind anyone this time, just told them that if they were going to act like a bunch of babies, they donít get Salvation, and serves Ďem right.

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

The island natives were thrilled, but the Jews who didnít become believers drove Paul and Barnabas out, where they had success in future adventures (Acts 13:49-52).

Acts 14
Paul and Barnabas On Tour

1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

Paul and Barnabas were successful wherever they went. Both Jews and the natives heard and believed the stories they told and were impressed with the miracles they did in between stories. However, many Jews were bitter and conspired against them to run them out of town (Acts 14:2-5)

Paul Heals a Cripple

8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:

Basically, Paul sees a cripple, tells him to get up and get to work. Not only did that old cripple get up, he did a little prospectorís jig (Acts 14:9-11)

Whoops, Wrong Gods

11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.

The natives think Paul and Barnabas are the Greek gods Zeus and Hermes, and start to offer sacrifices to these gods. This really freaks out Paul and Barnabas, so they try their hardest to convince the natives that the Jewish god is the really true god, and the Greek gods theyíve attributed every miracle and answered prayer to, should quickly be forgotten. Some Jews riled up the crowd and they threw stones at Paul until he and Barnabas ran away. Paul is so badly hurt, they think heís dead (Acts 14:12-19).

Paul and Barnabas Continue Their Tour

20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Turn out Paul wasnít dead like they thought, and after a good night sleep he was good to go to the next stop on their Mission Tour. The ended up going to many places, establishing many churches along the way. Finally they came home (Acts 14:21-28)

Acts 15
A Lively Discussion About Wieners

1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Now that the Apostles have been busy on their Mission Tour, someone says, ďHey, you know what Iíve been wondering? How come these pagan Christian converts donít skin their wieners like Jews do? Donít they need to do that to join our religion? If we had to go through it, they should, too.Ē This made some of them nod their heads in agreement, and others cringe in pain, and they just couldnít agree. The Apostles never thought about it, and no one could remember if Jesus said anything about it, and so they decided they had to get together and figure this out in person, seeing that email hadnít been invented yet and no one was going to ask the Holy Ghost to be messenger, or even what the right answer was.

Skins vs. Foreskins

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

The Christians in Jerusalem were thrilled with the news of all the converts, but more and more people started wondering about the states of their wieners. Every male convert had a wiener, and it probably wasnít skinned. Should it be? Does it have to be? Much thought was given to the male organ these days, but not in a homosexual way - just a bunch of guys discussing their puds, their friendís puds, the pagansí puds, what God thinks of their puds, and on and on. They couldnít stop arguing about this.

7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

After a bunch of arguing what God wants Christians to do with the foreskins of their male members, Peter makes a little speech. He reminds everyone that the Holy Spirit visited and baptized the non-Jews just as assuredly as He did the Jews. And everyone was so moved they didnít make a sound. You could hear a pin drop (Acts 15:7-12)

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

James then spoke up and reminded everyone what the prophet said back in the Old Testament about gathering fallen stones. ďHey, remember what the Bible said about rebuilding Davidís house (Amos 9:11)? Well, I have an idea to settle whether or not God still hates foreskins. Letís write the non-Jew Christians a letter telling them to not worship idols, donít screw around or do gay stuff, and eat right.Ē

Now that may seem like a non sequitur to you and me, but to the Jewish Christians, that made perfect sense, and there was much rejoicing (Acts 15:13-21).

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

So the letter was sent in person to the church in Antioch by Paul and Barnabas, accompanied by Judas Barsabas and Silas to tell new Christians to not offend Jewish Christians by serving them non-kosher foods, and donít do gay stuff. And this settled the question about skinning wieners (Acts 15:24-29).

Barnabas and Paul Break Up the Band and Go Solo

36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.

Everyone had a great time and eventually it was time to move on. Barnabas wanted to take John whose last name is Mark (honestly, a lot of these last names sound like first names and I donít know why the author doesnít just call them by their the name heís going to go by the first time because this way it sounds like he scribbled the new name only after realizing heíd been calling him by the wrong name like a yutz in the first draft of the book, but I wasnít chosen to write the bible and neither were you). Paul put his foot down and said no way, this guy, whatever his name is, is a colossal wuss for running away when things got hard in Pamphylia. They argued so much they couldnít stand each other and went their own ways. The good news is twice as many churches got planted on their respective adventures (Acts 15:39-41).
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