Acts - Lesson 10

Acts 13 and 14

Paul's First Missionary Journey


  1. The student can trace on a map the journey of Barnabas and Saul from Antioch in Syria back to Antioch in Syria.
  2. The student, using a printed copy of Saul's sermon in Antioch of Pisidia, can analyze the message and make applications for us.
  3. The student can, from the example of Barnabas and Saul in Acts 14, draw lessons for us to follow in the church today.


  1. Have copies of the Written Review ready to distribute.
  2. Have copies of the Notes/Review sheet ready to distribute.
  3. Have copies of Saul's sermon from Acts 13 ready to distribute.
  4. Bibles and pens as needed.


Saul has become a major force in the spread of the gospel into new areas but he preaches the same basic message of Jesus to the Gentiles as others have preached to Jews. Saul's work n his first missionary journey provides many good lessons for us today.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (about 10 minutes)

  1. Check roll, welcome visitors, make announcements.
  2. Prayer and songs as desired: Anywhere With Jesus (esp. verse 3); I Will Sing the Wondrous Story; Jesus, Name above All Names.
  3. Today's lesson on Acts 13 and 14 will center on Saul's first missionary journey and what we can learn from it about mission work and our efforts today to spread the gospel.

Learning Experiences: (about 25 minutes)

  1. Preparation for the Journey.

    1. Q: What happened to Saul when he had gone to Jerusalem following his Damascus experience? (Sent to Tarsus—Acts 9:30)
    2. Read Acts 11:19-26. Q: What do we learn from what Barnabas did? (To bring others into the work so their talents can be used. This was probably about 41 AD) Q: In our congregation, tell how someone could do a similar thing.
    3. Read Acts 13:1-13. Q: From the passage in Acts 11 and now from Acts 13, what steps can you see that have been taken to prepare Barnabas and Saul for this journey? (Saul has had time to mature in Tarsus. The church in Antioch has had time to develop. Barnabas and Saul have worked together in Antioch to develop their relationship and to gain experience in teaching. Fasting and prayer develops people spiritually. They have an openness to where God wants them to work. While we don't get this type of direct call, we also can ask for God's leading through opening doors and the advice of others.)
  2. The Journey.

    1. On a map trace the stops Saul and Barnabas make on their journey from Antioch back to Antioch. This journey probably took place from 45 to 48 AD.
    2. Q: What happened in Paphos with Bar-Jesus (Elymas) and Sergius Paulus?
    3. Using the copy you have been given of the sermon Paul preached in Antioch of Pisidia, during the next three minutes of silence, read that sermon and underline those sentences which show what Paul used to support his claim that Jesus was the expected Messiah. At the bottom of the sheet, summarize the reasons Saul gives to support his contention that Jesus is the Christ. (Jesus is the descendent of David; John the Baptist testified of Him; His rejection was a fulfillment of prophecy; God raised Him from the dead and many were witnesses; David prophesied of His resurrection. When the students have had time for this exercise, proceed with the following question.) Q: What reasons do you find Paul giving to believe in Jesus? Using the same sheet, look toward the end of the sermon and circle what Paul says Jesus can do for them. (Bring forgiveness of sins and be justified which the law of Moses could not do.)s Q: How does Paul motivate them to respond favorably to Jesus? (Quotes Habakkuk 1:5 about those who reject.) Q: What response did the Jews give? (At first wanted to hear and then rejected.) Q: What does Paul do next? (Preaches to the Gentiles and many believe.) Soon, however, trouble brews and Paul leaves for Iconium. Many believe in Iconium but Jews from Antioch stir up trouble and so Paul and Barnabas leave for Lystra. Notice Acts 14:3. Paul spoke and the Lord confirmed the message by enabling them to do miracles. Revelation and confirmation.)
    4. Q: At Lystra, Paul's healing of a man lame from birth leads the people to have what response to Paul and Barnabas? (To call them gods and try to sacrifice to them.) Q: Who came to town and what did they do? (Jews from Antioch and Iconium and they won over the crowd who then stoned Paul and left him for dead. The disciples took him back into the city and he left the next day for Derbe.)
  3. The Return.
    1. After winning as large number of disciples in Derbe, Paul and Barnabas start their journey home. Q: What message do they give the disciples in the places where they have been? Q: What else do they do? (Appointed elders.) Q: How cold men have been ready to be elders this soon? (Probably some were Jews who had known the Scriptures and may have had some religious leadership experience.) Q: What do we learn from this about elders? (Elders in each place, more than one in each eldership set aside with prayer and fasting, must trust in the Lord.)
    2. Q: What happens when they arrive back in Antioch of Syria? (Reported what God had done through them and how the door was opened to Gentiles.) It is probably about this time (49 AD), that Paul writes to the Galatian Christians—his first epistle.


  1. Q: What do we learn about doing mission work today from this trip by Paul and Barnabas? (Go to major population centers. Go in pairs. Focus the message on Jesus and the kingdom or church. Relate the message to what the people already know. Develop local leadership as soon as possible.)
  2. Q: What do we learn about the qualities missionaries need to have? (Courage, not easily offended, perseverance, dependence on God, knowledge of Scriptures, knowledge of local cultures.)


  1. Be prepared for the written review over this lesson.

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