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Antioch of Pisidia
Brief Overview of Paul's Visit to the Antioch of Pisidia on His First Missionary Journey
# 4 When Paul landed in Asia, he and his companions traveled inland for
about eight miles to the city of Perga in Pamphylia, and it was here that John
Mark left the group and went back to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13). They remained in
Perga a short time and Paul and Barnabas continued north for about 100 miles, to
"Antioch of Pisidia" in the central plateau area of Asia Minor (Acts 13
:14). There they began evangelizing the southern region of the province of
Then they entered a synagogue in Pisidia on the Sabbath day and sat down. Paul stood up and proceeded to preach to them the history of redemption from Abraham to Jesus. Many believed and urged him to speak on the next Sabbath.
During the week so much interest was stirred up that on the Sabbath "nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of God." Filled with envy because of the desire of the Gentiles to hear, the Jews "began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming," so Paul said, "We turn to the gentiles...", and the apostles boldly proclaimed salvation to the gentiles. Jewish opposition increased, and the apostles left Antioch (13:42-51).
Antioch of Pisidia was actually "near" rather than "in" Pisidia. It became the chief administrative and military center for southern Galatia after Emperor Augustus had made it a Roman colony. This city was an important commercial center on the great trade route linking Ephesus on the coast with Syria and the cities of Mesopotamia. It was also a place of pagan worship and contained a great temple dedicated to Ascaenus, the chief deity of the city. Antioch of Pisidia was a highly strategic place from which to spread the gospel. Paul and Barnabas preached there and many believed.
As a result of their witness, "the word of the Lord spread throughout all the whole region" (Acts 13:49).
Gal 4:4 "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His
Son, born of a woman, born under the law"
There is no doubt in what the Word of the Lord says, that Jesus came, "in the fullness of time." Politically, intellectually, morally, and everything else in the Graeco-Roman world was ready for the message of the gospel. One note worth mentioning is that in the gentile world, it is told, there was an expectation of a great One who about this time would come from Judaea (Tacitus, History v. 13; Suetonius, Vespas. 4).
When Jesus died on a Roman cross it was not the end but the beginning. His followers would spread a message called the "gospel" meaning good news starting in Jerusalem and spreading to the farthest parts of the known world. Their message was:
Jesus, a lowly Jewish carpenter from the despised city of Nazareth, was rejected by His own Jewish nation and crucified by the Roman governor was indeed the Messiah and the Savior of mankind, who rose from the dead and anyone who would accept Him would be forgiven of all sins and would rise with Him in glory.
Those who spread the message were mostly Jews and were commanded by the Lord to go to the Jewish brethren first and then to the gentiles. When they entered Jewish synagogues they were scorned and persecuted by most of the Jews, and even the Greco-Roman cultures referred to their message as "superstitious rabble." Yet the Book of Acts reveals that the message about Jesus Christ spread to all who of those who had open hearts throughout the whole Mediterranean world and, as Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit entered hearts and lives.
Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were called on a mission by the Holy Spirit and sent out by the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. In his missions he preaches the Word, performs many miracles, makes many disciples and raises up elders for the new Churches. He is also heavily persecuted, yet his life and ministry is one that has set an awesome example of dedication and courage for all to remember. You can look at the Map to trace the route of their first church-planting campaign.
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