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Barnabas and Saul Given a Special Work

1In the church (group of believers) at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers. They were: Barnabas, Simeon (also called Niger), Lucius (from the city of Cyrene), Manaen (who had grown up with Herod, the ruler) and Saul.

2These men were all serving the Lord and fasting. The Holy Spirit said to them, “Give Barnabas and Saul to me to do a special work. I have chosen them to do this work.”

3So the church fasted and prayed. They put their hands on Barnabas and Saul and sent them out.

Barnabas and Saul in Cyprus

4Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went to the city of Seleucia. Then they sailed from Seleucia to the island of Cyprus.

5When Barnabas and Saul came to the city of Salamis, they told the message of God in the Jewish synagogues. (John {Mark} was with them to help.)

6They went across the whole island to the city of Paphos. In Paphos they met a Jewish man who did magic. His name was Barjesus. He was a false prophet.

7Barjesus always stayed close to Sergius Paulus, the governor. Sergius Paulus was a wise man. He asked Barnabas and Saul to come to him. He wanted to hear the message of God.

8But Elymas, the magician, was against Barnabas and Saul. (Elymas is another name for Barjesus.) Elymas tried to stop the governor from believing {in Jesus}.

9But Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul (Saul’s other name) looked at Elymas (Barjesus)

10and said, “You son of the devil! You are an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of evil tricks and lies. You always try to change the Lord’s truths into lies!

11Now the Lord will touch you and you will be blind. For a time you will not be able to see anything—not even the light from the sun.” Then everything became dark for Elymas. He walked around lost. He was trying to find someone to lead him by the hand.

12When the governor (Sergius Paulus) saw this, he believed. He was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

Paul and Barnabas Go to Antioch in Pisidia

13Paul and those people with him sailed away from Paphos. They came to Perga, a city in Pamphylia. But John {Mark} left them; he returned to Jerusalem.

14They continued their trip from Perga and went to Antioch, a city near Pisidia. In Antioch on the Sabbath day they went into the Jewish synagogue and sat down.

15The law of Moses and the writings of the prophets were read. Then the leaders of the synagogue sent a message to Paul and Barnabas: “Brothers, if you have something to say that will help the people here, please speak!”

16Paul stood up. He raised his hand and said, “My Jewish brothers and you other people that also worship the true God, please listen to me!

17The God of Israel (the Jews) chose our ancestors. God helped his people to have success during the time they lived in Egypt as strangers. God brought them out of that country with great power.

18And God was patient with them for 40 years in the desert.

19God destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan. He gave their land to his people.

20All this happened in about 450 years. “After this, God gave {our people} judges (leaders) until the time of Samuel the prophet.

21Then the people asked for a king. God gave them Saul, the son of Kish. Saul was from the family group of Benjamin. He was king for 40 years.

22After God took Saul away, God made David their king. This is what God said about David: ‘David, the son of Jesse, is a man who is like me in his thinking. He will do all the things I want him to do.’

23God has brought one of David’s descendants to Israel (the Jews) to be their Savior. That descendant is Jesus. God promised to do this.

24Before Jesus came, John told {God’s message} to all the Jewish people. John told the people to be baptized to show they wanted to change their lives.

25When John was finishing his work, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not the Christ. He is coming later. I am not worthy to untie his shoes.’

26“My brothers, sons in the family of Abraham, and you non-Jews who also worship the true God, listen! The news about this salvation has been sent to us.

27The {Jews} living in Jerusalem and the Jewish leaders did not realize that {Jesus} was the Savior. The words that the prophets wrote {about Jesus} were read to the Jews every Sabbath day, but they did not understand. The Jews condemned Jesus. When they did this, they made the words of the prophets come true!

28They could not find any real reason why Jesus should die, but they asked Pilate to kill him.

29These Jews did all the bad things that the Scriptures said would happen to Jesus. Then they took Jesus down from the cross and put him in a grave.

30But God raised him up from death!

31After this, for many days, the people that had gone with Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem saw Jesus. These people are now his witnesses to the people.

32We tell you the Good News about the promise God made to our ancestors.

33We are their children (descendants), and God has made this promise come true for us. God did this by raising Jesus from death. We also read about this in Psalm 2: ‘ You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.’ Psalm 2:7

34God raised Jesus from death. Jesus will never go back to the grave and become dust. So God said: ‘I will give you the true and holy promises that I made to David.’ Isaiah 55:3

35But in another Psalm it says: ‘ You will not let {the body of} your Holy One rot in the grave.’ Psalm 16:10

36David did God’s will during the time he lived. Then he died and was buried like all his ancestors. And his body did rot in the grave!

37But the One (Jesus) that God raised from death did not rot in the grave.

38Brothers, you must understand what we are telling you: You can have forgiveness of your sins through this One (Jesus). The law of Moses could not free you from your sins. But every person who believes {in Jesus} is free from all his sins through him (Jesus).


40The prophets said some things would happen. Be careful! Don’t let these things happen to you. The prophets said:

41‘ Listen, you people that doubt!You can wonder, but then go awayand die; because during your time, I (God) will do something that you will not believe. You will not believe it, even if someone explains it to you!’”

42While Paul and Barnabas were leaving {the synagogue}, the people asked Paul and Barnabas to {come again} on the next Sabbath day and tell them more about these things.

43After the meeting, many of the Jews followed Paul and Barnabas from that place. With the Jews there were many converts to the Jewish religion. These converts also worshiped the true God. Paul and Barnabas were persuading them to continue trusting in God’s grace (kindness).

44On the next Sabbath day, almost all the people in the city came together to hear the word of the Lord.

45The Jews saw all these people there. So the Jews became very jealous. They said some very bad things and argued against the words that Paul said.

46But Paul and Barnabas spoke very boldly. They said, “We must speak the message of God to you Jews first. But you refuse to listen. You are making yourselves lost—not worthy of having eternal life! So we will now go to the people of other nations!

47This is what the Lord (God) told us to do. The Lord said: ‘I have made you to be a light for other nations, so that you can show the way of salvation to people all over the world.’” Isaiah 49:6

48When the non-Jewish people heard Paul say this, they were happy. They gave honor to the message of the Lord. And many of the people believed the message. These were the people chosen to have life forever.

49And so the message of the Lord was being told through the whole country.

50But the Jews caused some of the important religious women and the leaders of the city to become angry and to be against Paul and Barnabas. These people did things against Paul and Barnabas and threw them out of town.

51So Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet. Then they went to the city of Iconium.

52But the followers {of Jesus in Antioch} were happy and full of the Holy Spirit.

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