In the local church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work that I have called them to."
Then, after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.
Being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they came down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
Arriving in Salamis, they proclaimed God's message in the Jewish synagogues. They also had John as their assistant.
When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came across a sorcerer, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus.
He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and desired to hear God's message.
But Elymas, the sorcerer, which is how his name is translated, opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
Then Saul-also called Paul-filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at the sorcerer
and said, "You son of the Devil, full of all deceit and all fraud, enemy of all righteousness! Won't you ever stop perverting the straight paths of the Lord?
Now, look! The Lord's hand is against you: you are going to be blind, and will not see the sun for a time." Suddenly a mist and darkness fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
Then the proconsul, seeing what happened, believed and was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.
Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and went back to Jerusalem.
They continued their journey from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.
After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent [word] to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have any message of encouragement for the people, you can speak."
Then standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and spoke: "Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen!
The God of this people Israel chose our forefathers, exalted the people during their stay in the land of Egypt, and led them out of it with a mighty arm.
And for about 40 years He put up with them in the desert;
then after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave their land to them as an inheritance.
This all took about 450 years. After this, He gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.
Then they asked for a king, so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for 40 years.
After removing him, He raised up David as their king, of whom He testified: ' I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will carry out all My will.'
"From this man's descendants, according to the promise, God brought the Savior, Jesus, to Israel.
Before He came to public attention, John had previously proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
Then as John was completing his life work, he said, 'Who do you think I am? I am not the One. But look! Someone is coming after me, and I am not worthy to untie the sandals on His feet.'
"Brothers, sons of Abraham's race, and those among you who fear God, the message of this salvation has been sent to us.
For the residents of Jerusalem and their rulers, since they did not recognize Him or the voices of the prophets that are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled their words by condemning Him.
Though they found no grounds for the death penalty, they asked Pilate to have Him killed.
When they had fulfilled all that had been written about Him, they took Him down from the tree and put Him in a tomb.
But God raised Him from the dead,
and He appeared for many days to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now His witnesses to the people.
And we ourselves proclaim to you the good news of the promise that was made to our forefathers.
God has fulfilled this to us their children by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second Psalm: You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.
Since He raised Him from the dead, never to return to decay, He has spoken in this way, I will grant you the faithful covenant blessings made to David.
Therefore He also says in another passage, You will not allow Your Holy One to see decay.
For David, after serving his own generation in God's plan, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and decayed.
But the One whom God raised up did not decay.
Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you,
and everyone who believes in Him is justified from everything, which you could not be justified from through the law of Moses.
So beware that what is said in the prophets does not happen to you:
Look, you scoffers, marvel and vanish away, because I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will never believe, even if someone were to explain it to you. "
As they were leaving, they begged that these matters be presented to them the following Sabbath.
After the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and persuading them to continue in the grace of God.
The following Sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the message of the Lord.
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to oppose what Paul was saying by insulting him.
Then Paul and Barnabas boldly said: "It was necessary that God's message be spoken to you first. But since you reject it, and consider yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles!
For this is what the Lord has commanded us: I have appointed you as a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. "
When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and glorified the message of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed.
So the message of the Lord spread through the whole region.
But the Jews incited the religious women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district.
But shaking the dust off their feet against them, they proceeded to Iconium.
And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.