December 30 ~ The Apostle Paul

John Singer Sargent | 1856-1925
American painter, draftsman, sculptor, portraitist, muralist, watercolorist and guitarist
Self Portrait | 1906
70 x 53 cms | 27 1/2 x 20 3/4 ins
Oil on canvas | The Uffizi | Florence | Italy

•The Story of the Apostle Paul•
Psalms – 86:1-5
Background @ Acts 13:1-3 (Paul’s first missionary journey)
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned (to Antioch), taking John Mark with them. Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria (the central city of early Christianity) were Barnabas, Simeon (called the “black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. Note: Saul, his Jewish name, and perhaps given in memory of Israel’s first king, was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, to which Saul’s family belonged; but following his conversion he was known as Paul, born a Roman citizen.
Story @ Acts 12:25 and 13:1-12
Prayer – Psalms 86:6-17
Painting – Self Portrait of John Singer Sargent

•The Story of Barnabas and Paul Thrown Out of Town•
Background @ Acts 13:1-12 (Paul’s first missionary journey)
@ Acts 13:13-15
Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. But Paul and Barnabas traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they went to the synagogue for the services. After the usual readings from the books of Moses and the prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it.”
Story @ Acts 13:13-52

John Singer Sargent | 1856-1925 | 
American painter, draftsman, sculptor, portraitist, muralist, watercolorist and guitarist | 
Perseus by Night | circa 1907 | 
54.6 x 39.3 cms | 21 1/4 x 15 1/4 ins| Watercolor on paper| 
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum| 
Madrid | Spain

•Paul and Barnabas in Lystra and Derbe•
Background @ Acts 13:1-12 (Paul’s first missionary journey)
@ Acts 13:13-52 (Paul and Barnabas preach in Antioch of Pisidia)
@ Acts 14:1-7 (Paul and Barnabas in Iconium)
@ Acts 14:8
While they were in Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was sitting and listening as Paul preached.
Story @ Acts 14:8-20
Painting – Perseus by Night | John Singer Sargent

•Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch of Syria•
Background @ Acts 13:1-12 (Paul’s first missionary journey)
@ Acts 14:8-20 (Paul and Barnabas in Lystra and Derbe)
@ Acts 14:21-22
After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.
Story @ Acts 14:21-28

GALATIANS
Paul probably wrote Galatians from Antioch shortly before the apostolic council in Jerusalem in AD 49. To a twenty first century reader, trained to expect story telling content, which is precisely it’s charm, I have chosen to omit Galatians and other letters of Paul and stick with Acts, maybe Revelation later.

•The Council at Jerusalem•
Background @ Acts 13:1-12 (Paul’s first missionary journey)
@ Acts 14:21-28 (Paul and Barnabus return to Antioch of Syria)
@ Acts 15:1
While Paul and Barnabus were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judah arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” (What does this mean for women? God wants all our private parts.)
Story @ Acts 15:1-21

~ §tacy §weeney