What does Acts 13:49 mean?
ESV: And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.
NIV: The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.
NASB: And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.
CSB: The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.
NLT: So the Lord’s message spread throughout that region.
KJV: And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
NKJV: And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.
Verse Commentary:
In Acts 1:8, right before Jesus ascended into heaven, He commissioned the apostles, saying, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." The apostles and other disciples did receive the Holy Spirit soon after, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4), and the message about Jesus and His offer of salvation has been spreading ever since.

Paul and Barnabas have taken that message to Pisidian Antioch in modern-day Asia Minor. They started in the Jewish synagogue where some Jews and many God-fearing Gentiles put their faith in Jesus. Throughout the next week, these new believers told so many people that when Paul and Barnabas came to speak again, "almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord" (Acts 13:44). When the leaders of the Jewish synagogue saw the crowds and grew jealous, they spoke out against Jesus' message, leading Paul to tell them that the story of the Jewish Messiah was going to the Gentiles (Acts 13:45–47).

Now, these Gentiles are spreading the news even farther. Pisidia is an unstably bordered area slightly southwest of the center of the peninsula. It seems to have been home to a hard people who were only finally subjugated when Caesar Augustus established a military colony there. Within decades of Paul's visit, the district was split up and absorbed into larger territories. Christianity didn't become firmly established in Pisidian Antioch until Constantine made Christianity the state religion in the 4th Century.

So, it's fitting that Christianity is opposed when it is first introduced. The jealous Jewish leaders convince the high-ranking women and leading men that this new religion is a threat, and together they drive Paul and Barnabas out (Acts 13:50–51). The disciples they leave, however, will be "filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 13:52).
Verse Context:
Acts 13:42–52 details the response to Paul's message in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch. Many Gentiles and some Jews accept the news about Jesus gladly, but the synagogue leaders don't. Since Jews live in community, and the Jewish community leaders feel threatened by Paul's message and popularity, Paul can say "the Jews" reject Jesus' offer of eternal life. Paul turns his attention to the Gentiles until the Jewish leaders join with city leaders to drive Paul and Barnabas out of town.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 13 transitions Luke's account (Acts 1:1) fully into a record of Paul's ministry to spread the news about Jesus. The Holy Spirit calls Paul and Barnabas for their first missionary journey. They teach about Jesus' offer of forgiveness of sins on the island of Cyprus and in the district of Pisidia in modern-day south-central Asia Minor. Along the way, they face opposition, desertion, and persecution: themes that will follow Paul throughout his life. But they also experience the joy of watching the people they'd least expect come to a saving faith in Jesus.
Chapter Context:
The first chapters of Acts, save for a quick account of Paul's conversion (Acts 9:1–31), cover the ministry of the apostles, particularly Peter. Those passages also detail the spread of the news about Jesus from His followers. That message goes to the Jews of Jerusalem (Acts 2—7) and Judea (Acts 8:26–40; 9:32–43), the Samaritans (Acts 8:4–25), and God-fearing Gentiles (Acts 10—11). Now, Paul's contribution to the ''end of the earth'' portion of Jesus' commission in Acts 1:8 begins, as he and Barnabas start their first missionary journey. Luke will record two more of Paul's journeys (Acts 15:36—18:22 and 18:23—20:38) before settling in on his return to Jerusalem, arrest, and sea voyage to Rome (Acts 21—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/29/2024 9:03:27 PM
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