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The Calling of Paul and Barnabas (2 of 26)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles
TEXT: Acts 13:1-13
INTRODUCTION: We remember from our study of chapter 11, persecution was on the rise in Jerusalem. With the death and martyrdom of Stephen, many of the saints had fled for their lives--traveling to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch.
In chapter 12, King Herod continues to persecute the church, killing James, the brother of John and arresting Peter, planning to kill him, as well. Herod places 16 soldiers at the prison in order to guard Peter, chaining him between two of them. We know the rest of the story. As the believers were praying for Peter, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, releasing him from his shackles and setting him free.
Peter makes his way to the house of Mary, the mother of John. When he knocks on the door, Rhoda is so surprised to hear his voice; instead of opening the door, she leaves him standing there and runs to tell everyone (vs.14): "And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate." Sometimes we are so surprised when God answers our prayers.
Finally, in (12:20-25) we saw the demise of King Herod. Upon a set day, Herod, arrayed himself in all his royal apparel, and proceeded to impress the people with a speech. It says in (vs. 22), "And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of man." But because he did not give the glory to God, God struck him dead (vs. 23): "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost." The lesson? "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).
Now we come to chapter 13, picking up our story in the city of Antioch. We remember that Barnabas had been dispatched from Jerusalem to Antioch in order to encourage and exhort the saints ...
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