Acts of the Apostles
23 - Acts 13:1-14
Acts of the Apostles: 23 - Acts 13:1-14
In this class, we will discuss Acts 13:1-14 and look at Barnabas and Saul (Paul) being chosen for the work and being sent off to Cyprus. While in Cyprus, Barnabas and Paul met up with John (John Mark) who became their helper. We will examine their interaction with a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus (Elymas) and how his perversion caused him to be struck with blindness. We will wrap-up the discussion by mentioning Paul traveling to Perga and then to Antioch of Pisidia.
Okay, good morning, everyone. Welcome back to Acts. Those of you online, welcome, as you are viewing these classes as well. I wanted to make a program comment for those of you online. I've had a number of comments from several people appreciating what we're doing here and taping these classes and going through this. I've also had some questions. And for those of you that if you have questions as you're viewing this at any particular time, I suppose far into the future, and if I'm still alive far into the future, I'll answer those questions. But at least for the short term here, you can email me with any questions. I've already had a few. And what I'll probably do is pick a particular time to do a little catch-up on certain questions that may come in for those of you that are online. We're able to handle questions in class here when we're off-camera. So, as you're viewing this, if you have any particular questions, go ahead and email it to me, and I'll do my best to get that to you. But we'll probably do it in kind of a catch-up classroom where we do several at a particular time, it might even wait till the end once we finish the book. We'll see how that goes. But I do appreciate hearing the comments from everybody.
We are in Acts 13 today. And we are at a point where we are now going to begin to go through the travels of Paul. We're exclusively with Paul it seems at this point, from here on out, except for chapter 15, where he's still in the story but we'll have the conference at Jerusalem which involves James, and Peter, and the group of elders, and apostles in Jerusalem. But essentially, from here to the end of the book of Acts, we will focus on Paul and his journeys and travels throughout the region of the Mediterranean, as shown in this particular map here, which is a good one, that we, from time to time will focus in on. But we've got another map in your handout and on the screen that we've done up regarding the first journey of Paul. Typically, Paul's travels are divided up into three journeys and then his journey to Rome, which is while he is imprisoned. And this is the first one, and it occupies chapters 13 and 14 in the book of Acts. And we're kind of for me at least, getting into the heart of everything and where we are and so much information, so much teaching from these particular stories.
So, let's go ahead and jump right into chapter 13:1. We are back in the city of Antioch. And in past classes, we've talked about the significance of that city to the Roman world, actually, the Greco-Roman world. And also, it being a spot where, as we talked last in a class or two ago, the disciples who were scattered after the persecution and death of Stephen went to that far northern point. And there they preached the Gospel and a group sprung up, a church sprung up. Barnabas was sent. And he saw God's work there. He went to get Paul from over in the city of Tarsus, brought him in, they worked for a year. They also, in the meantime, they took an offering down to Jerusalem, Judea because of the famine that was there. We talked about that in a previous class. And now the church here, through whatever means, they determined that they want to fund an outreach or an evangelizing mission project to the Gentiles. This is essentially what happens. And we did talk about the nature of this church in Antioch. And one of the things that I put on the board and we talked about was that it was an evangelizing, mission-driven church. And that's important to understand and here's where we get into it. And so look at verse 1.
Acts 13:1 It says, "Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul."
And this was a group then that in a sense, were singled out among many others. I brought out earlier that it just took one year to produce fruit. One year of training, one year of working with this church between Barnabas and Paul to get to this point where there were a number of people qualified, it seems, to go out and to carry the message of the Gospel. They were prophets and teachers, inspired teachers. And these were the ones who were listed here. We know very little about them, other than Barnabas and Saul, beyond their name.
Acts 13:2-3 And, "As they ministered to the Lord," in verse 2, "and fasted," which is, as they ministered to the Lord, they served the work of God to the church, and we could include in there that service to the Lord probably, you know, would include, more than likely, would include their prayer along with the fasting to discern the will of God, "the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away."
And there seems to be a laying on of hands to the mission that they have, and for this particular purpose, they were already serving an effective ministering and ministers, and would have been considered that already. And so, this seems to be a laying on of hands with fasting and prayer, asking God to give them the extra help of their spirit to go out and to do this. So, it's not an unusual practice to do something like this. And it would be totally appropriate even today, if a minister or a couple of ministers were singled out for a unique ministry and mission within the church to have such, let's say, a private occasion, by, you know, the administration, the senior ministers, council, or whatever it might be, to do something like this, to send them out on a special mission. "And they were sent on their way."
Now, I want to save further comments about the Holy Spirit here for another occasion in Acts where that's going to come up. And I've already made a previous comment about how Luke doesn't really finally distinguish between the work of the Spirit and the work of Christ or the work of the Father, in the means of this ministering here, which is very interesting. And it helps us to understand how he looked at that, and how the biblical teaching about the Spirit of God is in terms of the power, the essence of God. And so, let me just at least mark that, note it, but when we see another occasion where God maneuvers Paul in his travels, maybe that would be the time to deal with a little bit more discussion about that.
But let's focus on the trip and the beginning of this trip. And we have a map on the board where they are sent away. And if you look at the map here that shows where Antioch is, right here. Keep in mind, there's more than one Antioch in the ancient world. And we're soon going to see a second Antioch in the story. But this is where it all began.
Acts 13:4 "Being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia." Now, Seleucia is this port right down here, about 14 miles downriver from Antioch. It's the port for Antioch. They didn't build Antioch on the coast, probably for strategic defensive reasons. A city on the coast is going to be more vulnerable to sea attack in the ancient world. And so, they built it upstream, about 14 miles, to give them a buffer. And so, there's a strategic reason for that. And so, to go down to, it says, "They went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus."
And so they're going to sail right over to Cyprus. They would have gone down and got on a boat. Now, here is what it looks like today. I was in Seleucia, in Antioch, last April on a tour of this. And again, this is why this is kind of a exciting part for me to get into because I traveled through all of these regions where Paul was, just last April, nearly a year ago. This is the Port of Seleucia as it looks today. And you will see here just the remains right here of a pier that dates back to the time of Barnabas and Saul in the first century. There's not much here today. Here's another remains of another pier. I think one of the commentaries I was reading say that in later years there were two main piers here and they called them, one, Barnabas and they called the other, Saul, in later Christian times. And this was the embarkation point for Barnabas and Saul. And there's not a whole lot there really, It's just a beach. This is another view of it right here. You know, people living around there, very nice restaurant that has a nice ocean view there that had some very delicious food as well at the time.
There's another feature here, I didn't put the picture in. But there's a huge tunnel that is up on these hills that you see in the background there that they built back at that time. The Romans built it to divert water from a nearby river to keep the port from silting up. And it's a rock-cut tunnel, they call it the Titus Tunnel. It's named after the Roman General and Emperor, Titus, the one who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. And he actually used Jewish slaves captured from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD to help work on that and to help finish it up. And there's an actual inscription there with his name on it. And you kind of take a hike up through this rock-cut gorge and tunnel area, that's called the Titus Tunnel. But this is where they left from, the port of Seleucia. So, it says in verse 4 that they sailed on to Cyprus. But this is a road in Salamis where they got off.
Acts 13:5 It says in verse 5, "They arrived in Salamis, and they preached the Word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant."
So, here they go off to Cyprus, this island right here. Barnabas, Paul, we'll go ahead and call him, Paul at this point, we'll talk more about his name change in a minute. Along with it says, "John as their assistant." Now, this is John Mark. This is the same individual who in the previous chapter, his mother's house was where Peter went when he was let out of prison by the angel when he was imprisoned by Herod Agrippa. You remember that account? And, you know, he went to the door, knocked on the door, and Dorcas wouldn't let him in and kind of left him standing there. But that home was John Mark's mother's home. Now John Mark is also the cousin of Barnabas. He's the cousin of Barnabas. So, note that. Remember that. Because it will help us understand something later in the story. So, we've got Mark. And this is the same Mark who writes the Gospel of Mark, which many feel is actually Peter's Gospel. So, it's the same Mark, also called John Mark. And he's with them as their assistant, it says. So, just kind of note that here at this particular point.
Acts 13:6 "Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-Jesus."
And so, along here, this is a road from the Roman time from the period of Paul in the city of Salamis, which was their first part where they arrived at Salamis. Then they're going to make this trip across the island to Paphos. I've never been to Cyprus. I think there's a feast idea to go to Crete, but not to Cyprus. But I've never been there, so these pictures we got from another source here. But this is a road and a street in Salamis where things no doubt took place, or at least, Paul maybe walked across parts of that there.
And so, they preached the Word in the synagogues of the Jews. Now, keep in mind, that as we begin to see the Gospel go out, as we've already seen, they go to where the Jews are. And the synagogue is a ready, first-point of introduction of the Gospel in these cities. Where they're going, there have been settlements of Jews for a long period of time. They have built synagogues in all but Philippi. We'll see in Philippi they don't have a synagogue, we'll talk about why at that time. But they do here. That's where Paul goes, they go in there on the Sabbath day. And there they preached the Word of God. There was a ready audience and they would have had an opportunity as visitors to even get up and to say a few words. And so, that's what they did.
Acts 13:6-7 “They moved on to Paphos. And there they found a sorcerer named Bar-Jesus, who was the proconsul of Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man.”
All right? Now, here we're introduced to two other characters, a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. Why would a Jew be a sorcerer and a false prophet? Well, just understand, in general, not all Jews then for a century were pious, God-fearing, Sabbath-keeping, you know, monotheistic, if you will, Jews. Obviously, this Jew had kind of gone over to the dark side. And was dabbling in mysticism. It was a feature of Judaism then and throughout the ages, just like other religions, you find those who are outliers are members and individuals who take up false, wrong, idolatrous teachings. And yet they put themselves off, in this case, as a Jew.
And he was with the proconsul. Now, the word, proconsul and this name, Sergius Paulus, is important here. He's a proconsul, which means that he's an appointed Roman official, essentially, the governor of the island, but he has the title of Proconsul. I think I've explained this in previous times that technically, the Roman Republic before it was an empire under Augustus, was governed by the Senate, who every year would appoint two consules. They only serve one year so power didn't get concentrated in any one or two groups of people. And those consules rotated every year. And so, the consules had the, let's say, the executive authority within the Senate. And so, when they would appoint a governor out in the colonies, to use that term, like Cyprus, a Sergius Paulus, that person becomes a proconsul. In other words, he's for the consul. He's ruling for the consul. And so, even in his name, he's always tied back to a higher authority. And, you know, it should have reminded them all that they served at the pleasure of the consul or the Senate, or by this time, the Emperor. The Senate stayed around, but they were a Senate in name only. The real power in the time of the Empire was in the Emperor beginning with Augustus. But they maintain this entire structure.
So, Sergius Paulus is appointed this. And he hears about Paul and Barnabas. And he wants to hear the Word of God from them. He calls for Barnabas and Saul, in verse 7 here, to hear the Word of God. So, Word had spread from the other parts of Cyprus by the time Paul and Barnabas get there where he is, and he wants to hear what he has to say.
Acts 13:8 "But Elymas," verse 8, "the sorcerer, for so his name is translated," it's the same Bar-Jesus, the false prophet. "He withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith."
The Jewish sorcerer, by means of magic, predictions, ingratiation, his personality, his charismatic approach, no doubt, had ingratiated himself into the court and a very close relationship to Sergius Paulus. And now, here come two other Johnny-come-latelies, interlopers, Paul and Barnabas. And he sees them now they're beginning to take the spotlight away from him. And he doesn't like that. And, you know, the only thing that he can do is to begin to probably whisper in the ear of Sergius Paulus with accusations and all, or even a direct challenge in some type of a setting where Paul and Barnabas are teaching and Elymas is there, and he begins to dispute with him. He probably knew something about the church, the Nazarenes that had sprung up after the death of Christ. And he may have even heard about Paul, this renegade Pharisee whose reputation...and keep in mind it's been 10 years, more than 10 years since Paul's conversion. And more than even 10 years since the Day of Pentecost, and the events of Christ's death and everything. So, this Jewish sorcerer was probably well read in to what was taking place and who Barnabas and Paul were representing as they preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Acts 13:9-10 Tells us, "Saul, who is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, 'Oh full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?'"
Paul is going to have none of this. And he instantly discerned what the sorcerer was doing to try to undermine their presence, their message, and the intent of their mission. Because to be brought into the office of a proconsul was no small matter for Paul and Barnabas at this time. It would, you know, to be brought into the governor's office of any state or other ruling official today would be no small thing. And, you know, you'd want to take advantage of that.
Acts 13:10 And so, he says, "You who are full of deceit, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?"
That perversion, no doubt had begun even probably earlier with the sorcerer's demented approach to the law and abandoning that by going off into sorcery. And so, he had a whole lifestyle behind him that Paul was really attacking.
Acts 13:11 "And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time. And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand."
Maybe he didn't have any friends. Maybe anybody else that might have been a part of his retinue, his sidekicks at that moment, maybe they just kind of said, "We're out of here. It's all done and it's all up on his particular situation there." So, he's by himself seeking somebody to lead him away.
Acts 13:12 It says, "The Proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord."
Now, notice back in verse 9.
Acts 13:9 "Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Spirit, looked intently at him."
Understand, Saul was his Jewish name. He was of the tribe of Benjamin. And he was named originally for the most prominent patriarch of the Benjamites, the first king of Israel, Saul. And so, that is his name, but his Roman name is Paul. The Roman equivalent of that is Paul. Now, he's before a Roman official. And from this point forward, the narrative for 99.9% of the time is going to refer to him as Paul. Why they change here? Probably the best explanation that I've read, because it's not in the text, is that now Paul is going out into the Roman world. And to use and introduce himself via a Roman name would be more advantageous than to use his Jewish name.
1 Corinthians 9:20-21 Paul said to the Jews, "I made myself as a Jew, that I might gain Jews. To them that are without the law, as without the law, I became all things to all men."
And so, Paul was not averse to, you know, having, in a sense, two calling cards, one that said Saul and one that said Paul. And depending on where he was, if you want to look at it that way, he used it. But Luke in the narrative, almost always now from this point on, refers to him as Paul. But that's, I think, probably a good explanation, if it's not the total one, but it's one that I see a lot in the readings that I do from the various commentators. And so, he casts a spell on this sorcerer, through his blindness.
Acts 13:12-13 "The Proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord." Now, from this point, in verse 13, "Then Paul and his party set sail from Paphos." They leave, "And they go to Perga in Pamphylia. And John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem."
But before we go to that, let's comment just a moment on what it means for Sergius Paulus in verse 12, the Proconsul, to believe. Was he baptized? Is the question. Does it say that he was baptized? No, it does not. It doesn't say that. But I will tell you that many, many commentators, probably the majority of commentators I read, feel that he was baptized and became a believer. And even though there's not a mention of this here, he's certainly favorably disposed to the Gospel. And he would have been one that they probably would have wanted to stay around with for some particular time.
Other uses of this word, believer, by Luke in the book of Acts, is in the connection with people, in a sense, becoming baptized that were part of the church. And so, the debates, there are some, I think, a minority of commentators who don't necessarily buy completely into the idea that he was baptized, is because it's not mentioned. But they make an assumption based on the usage of the word. The one word that I find that is not, or the one reference that I've never found gone to is where in the book of James, it says that the demons believe, also. And yet we wouldn't look at them as being baptized members of the Body of Christ, would we? So, I recognize that's outside of Acts and Luke's usage. But what do I believe? I'm not convinced that he was baptized. But he certainly is favorably disposed. And so, in that case, I put myself against a lot of very intelligent commentators who read this and think that he was.
Now, the assumption that he was baptized, well, it doesn't always lead to this, but here's where commentators go from this. If you look at your map, I'll just point to this one rather than go back to the screen. The next verse says they go up to Perga. They kind of make a right-turn. They've headed out to Cyprus. And the reason they probably went to Cyprus to begin with, is because this is where Barnabas was from. Remember earlier, in the book of Acts, we read that Barnabas sold all that he had, and came to Jerusalem and laid out what he had at the feet of the apostles. So, it's logical that, hey, all right, we're going out on a trip. Barnabas says, you know, "I know Cyprus. I've probably got family there, and I know it. Let's go there first." It's logical.
Why then did they go up here? Many commentators feel that this particular fact makes it so. Sergius Paulus, who we just have here, the proconsul, they think that his family is from Antioch in Pisidia. Why? Because they have found inscriptions on stones in Antioch in Pisidia with the family name, Paulus on it. And even one they feel has the name, Sergius Paulus on it as well. And so, the idea is the proconsul in Cyprus is from here. And what he does, he believes, he's favorably disposed to the teaching. He says, "Hey, look, my family's kind of a prominent family up in Antioch in Pisidia. I can give you a letter of introduction," very important in that day and time. "Why don't you go up there?" And that's why they go up there, according to many commentators and New Testament scholars.
The idea then, well, where were they originally going to go? Well, that is not said in the text. Some I've heard say, "Well, they were going to go all the way to Rome on this trip." I personally don't think that. I think that their intent originally was probably to go up into this region of Galatia. I know that you've been studying in the book of Galatians and understand that the significance of this. I personally think that originally, their trip ticket would have taken them up in here anyway. Because Paul, remember, has spent over 10 years in Tarsus. And I don't think Paul just sat there and made tents for 10 years. My personal opinion and others feel the same way but there's no text to prove it, is that Paul probably got out into this area during that 10 years we don't know about. And he probably did some preaching. I think that's a logical assumption. But it is only an assumption at the end of the day. So, my feeling is that they would have been going in this area anyway, because probably some other contexts. But scholars feel that this is why they go up here, but the reality is they go there, they go to Antioch in Pisidia. And so, let's pick up the text there on verse 13.
Acts 13:13 "When Paul and his party," now, from this point, it's not Barnabas and his party, it's Paul. Luke shifts the scene here and Paul becomes the leading figure of the two. And it could be because of what has happened with the sorcerer, very likely what has happened with the sorcerer. Paul's personality just kind of comes through and overshadows Barnabas, is another possibility at this point. But “they set sail from the from the point of Paphos and they come to Perga in Pamphylia.”
Now, this is the picture here on the screen of where they would have landed, a few miles south of Perga in Pamphylia on the southern coast of what is today, Turkey, Asia Minor, right, right here. And that's a picture of it right there where they would have come in. And this picture is taken from a very nice boat in an picturesque bay, which is also the spot from which they are going to eventually sail away from Asia at the end of this trip and return back to Antioch. But now they come back onto the mainland of Asia. This is the harbor here where it all takes place. Actually, today it's a place called Magydus. It's right next to the modern town of Antalya. A very beautiful spot. And we spent a couple of nights there on our trip and got a boat tour of the harbor here and saw all of this.
But it says they come, they came to Perga in Pamphylia. And this is the road going from Magydus where they got off the boat, up to about 5 miles up to Perga. And this is remains of the passageway that they would have walked over. Perga is in the far distance here in this particular map. And this is the Roman road, what's left of the Roman passage up there. When they came to Perga, which is what the text says, note in verse 13, this is what they would have come into. These are the remains of two Hellenistic gates that Paul and Barnabas would have walked right through these two gates into the city of Perga along the main road. It's interesting to go to a spot, see something like that and realize, "Paul walked through this." It's the remains. But it's a Hellenistic or a Greek gate.
Today, you will find two other gates, one, this side of these two, and one just beyond. Later, a few years after the time of Paul and Barnabas, the Romans built another gate in front of these two. And then about, you know, another 100 years later, they built another Roman gate on the other side of this one. And the remains of all three are still there to see. And this is another view from the other side having walked through that gate. And actually, where this person is sitting in this picture is in the remains of that second Roman gate built later after the time of Paul. But the taller structures there are the remains of the Hellenistic gate. And it opens right into the main avenue in Perga that Paul and Barnabas would have walked through as they came through. And this particular picture shows even further down that road, you'll see in the distance, the two Hellenistic gates there, and you'll see what looks like a trough.
Keep in mind that in Paul's time as they walked by this, this was a large avenue with shops and stores along both sides, double-story probably. And along this trough-like structure, it was a water feature, it was a water feature. So, it was a very pleasant sight and place to be, that they had enough water brought in by aqueduct to even waste it by just making a water feature going down the middle of the street. Some of the Roman cities did this. And they walked on down. They came to kind of the end of that and then they would have made a left turn along this row of columns along what is the Via Sebaste. And that's probably where they then went on up from there along this part of the road to Antioch.
Acts 13:14 "They departed from Perga and they came to Antioch in Pisidia."
Before we go along that road, I want to make a couple of comments. I'm going to take you back to this and take just a brief minute because I want to set up the class here, and for those online, we're going to dip into the book of Revelation, which everybody's familiar with. But the book of Revelation 21, is the vision of the New Jerusalem. Comes down out of heaven. And there are gates and foundations of that New Jerusalem. Everybody has heard that, familiar with that. And on the gates of the New Jerusalem are the names of who? The 12 apostles, I believe it is. Foundations have the children of Israel. If I'm mistaken on that, we'll just flip it around. But the important thing is to know that on the gates of that New Jerusalem are names. Names, okay? What have I got here? Twelve tribes. On the gates of the 12 tribes, prominent names in the story of Israel.
In the time of Paul in the Roman world, on these gates in this city in Perga and in other major cities, prominent people put their names on the gates, city councilman, benefactors, they wanted to be remembered to the next generations. "We are the people who built these gates. We are the people who built the city." And they would put their names there. And when you see what God does through the vision that He gives to John at that time, that New Jerusalem has the names of the 12 apostles, the prominent names in the story of Israel who laid the foundations, who built Israel, and then the 12 tribes and the foundations, or the 12 apostles and their story. God is basically saying through the vision that he gives to Paul, we're jumping ahead in the story, but this is where it all, kind of, light came on to me when I was there a few months ago, and I visualized all of this. I said, "Oh, yeah, that's why he writes it that way."
In the Roman world, Paul and Barnabas walked through these gates and everybody else and he says, "Do you see these names on these walls?" You stop and you maybe look at, "Who was this guy? Who were these people?" They were put there because those people had vanity. Just like every other mayor, city councilman, prominent person, or benefactor of anytime and place, they want to be remembered for their works, their money, their donations, they put their names on places. And God is saying, "I'm going to put the most-important names on the most-important city, and it's going to conquer and prevail over the Roman cities of that first century." And what John is receiving in that vision is further encouragement from God that that New Jerusalem is going to conquer Perga, Antioch, Rome, Babylon, and every city. And the names you're going to remember for eternity are the names of Israel and the apostles.
And then there's something else that as we will read in Revelation, there's water that comes out and goes through the street for healing of the nations. I showed you this, prominent feature of the Roman city of this size where they had the money and the ability to do it with enough water was to have water running out from these gates. So, when the people read the book of Revelation in their setting, in their day, and then they walked out and walked along the streets, they were being given a message from God, that His way, His life, His city, was going to ultimately conquer. But there was a visual in front of them from the Roman period. And that's really what jumped out at me when I was in Perga and saw this whole setting and setup here. And Paul and Barnabas are walking right by this at this time. And perhaps they don't have the words of Revelation in their mind, because it hasn't been given at this time. But God working and designing it all for His particular purpose. So, let's go back into the text. We need to pick up the story of John Mark here because in verse 13.
Acts 13:13 "When Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia," these pictures that I'm showing to you here. "And John," John Mark right here, the third person of the party, "departs from them and returned to Jerusalem."
So, he leaves them and he hightails it back to Jerusalem. Who's in Jerusalem? Mama, home cooking, biscuits, hot biscuits, hot flatbread, home cooking, comforts of home. Why does John Mark leave them? We don't know from the text, but you can well imagine, he's a younger person. He's looking at roads through the country kind of like this. Was it a detour for them to go up here? Is he upset because maybe Paul's now taken over from his cousin, Barnabas? Or is he just homesick? These are all kinds of the speculations that come about as to why John Mark departs from them. I lean toward the fact that, I just think it got to be more than he had bargained for. John Mark was probably coming along to help take the workload of travel off of Paul and Barnabas so that they could focus on preaching. He would have had to, you know, maybe prepare the meals, go ahead and, you know, keep the food supplies up, find lodging, do some of the manual, menial work. That would have probably been his role. And maybe it got too hard for him by this time. And maybe it's his first time out. I think he just got homesick. And he departs and returns to Jerusalem.
Well, his departure creates a hardship because now all that work would have fallen upon Paul and Barnabas. You know how it is. If three people are assigned to a job, and if it's, you know, management's doing their job, then everybody's got a role to play. But if one person doesn't do their part, right, you've got your committees to do your jobs for your charity auction coming up, right? Everybody's got their job, right? If you don't do your job, you're going to let your team down. You've been divided up to do your jobs, you got follow through. You got to show up and know your lines. You got to do what's been assigned to you. If you don't, you let the team down. Barnabas let the team down.
Now, this is going to come back to haunt us as we will get to the beginning of the second journey. Because Barnabas is going to want to take John Mark. Well, he's learned his lesson. Paul says, "No." He's, you know, he's a little snot nose, he's a weenie. He's not a bunch of weenies but he's one weenie, all right? And Paul doesn't want him. So, we'll talk about that as we go. That story has a happy ending, though. In 2 Timothy 4, we see that Paul has, kind of, through the years, he makes up with Mark, and Mark redeems himself. But that story comes along. It's 2 Timothy 4:11. Colossians 4:10 is a reference if you want to see where Mark is the cousin to Barnabas, that's mentioned in Colossians 4:10. And so, all of this plays, it will play into, we'll come back to it in chapter 15. All right, so let's go on to verse 14.
Acts 13:14 "When they departed from Perga," and they would have walked along this particular road here, this is the Via Sebaste. I didn't get on any parts of these Roman roads when we were in Perga. A couple of our party left us at that time. And they walked along part of this Via Sebaste that are still there. What's neat when you go to this part of the world, and also in Italy, you can still walk along Roman roads, you can walk along the Appian Way that Paul walked along when he was in prison, and he came to Rome. And we'll read about that at the end of Acts. And you can walk along these roads were Paul walked.
There's an interesting group of scholars that I've kind of gotten acquainted with in the two trips I've made to Turkey, one of them Mark Wilson, who lives there. Another one named Mark Fairchild, who is a professor at Huntington University up here near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mark Fairchild has spent a great deal of time just walking over Turkey today searching out places like this that nobody's found or had been forgotten and the only people that know about them are Turkish farmers. They're way out in the country. And he's an interesting person, Mark Fairchild. I talked with him on one of the trips over there, and he's written some very good books. And if you want to watch a video of him kind of being a modern-day Indiana Jones on some of these treks, on Amazon Prime, just put in the term, Mark Fairchild. And there's one video that's really good. And he's going over through Turkey, shows him climbing these hills and these rocks. He's not a typical tourist. He's also an interesting lecturer as well. He's written some good books on the topic as well, Mark Fairchild. And what he has done is quite an interesting contribution to, you know, ferreting out these places that have been grown over, forgotten roads and locations of this particular time. But gives you a little bit of an indication here of what was taking place.
Acts 13:14 “They depart from Perga, they come to Antioch in Pisidia, and they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and they sat down.”
And so, like, if they come up here to Antioch in Pisidia, different from the Antioch in Syria or Antioch on the Orontes but another Antioch in a city in a place with a very fascinating story as we will see when we pick it up here in the next class. We'll end it here. We're about out of time. So, next class, Paul's sermon in Antioch in Pisidia.