Acts 13:26-37 - Jesus, a Rejected Promise & then Some!

Acts 13:26-37 – Jesus, a Rejected Promise & Then Some!

Diving Deeper Lesson Outline for Acts 13:26-37
This is lesson 2 of 3 on Paul’s sermon in Acts 13.
Part 1 was the “Jesus Was” of Paul’s sermon.
Part 2 is the “Jesus Is”.
Part 3 will cover the “Jesus Can Be.”Title derived from the 3 points covered below.

In Part 2 of his sermon, I believe Paul is arguing that the sonship of God with Israel as experienced (see lesson on Part 1) in the lives of the Hebrew people, their nation and their land (the Abrahamic covenant) is the same relationship that culminates with Jesus.
Even though, in Jesus 1st coming, there was no direct intervention by God with regards to people, nation and land as there was in the Old Testament:
- Jews were not redeemed from the rule of the Romans as they were redeemed from the Egyptians, Acts 13:17.
- Jews’ promise land was not purged of pagans as it was from the Canaanites, Acts 13:19.
- Israel was not restored to prominence politically under the rule of a king as it was with King David, Acts 13:22.

Paul hangs his argument on 3 things.
The 1st is the rejection of Jesus by Jerusalem in Acts 13:27-28.
The 2nd is the concept of a promised offspring, which Paul introduced in Acts 13:23 and now in Acts 13:32-33.
The 3rd is the concept of “not seeing corruption” (resurrection), which Paul addresses in Acts 13:35-37.


Point 1 is drawn from Paul’s words in Acts 13:27-28.

The rejection in the OT:
In Isaiah 8:14 Jesus is a “rock of stumbling”.
In Isaiah 53:3 we see the Messiah as the rejected man of sorrows.
In Romans 11:7-8 Paul quotes Isaiah 29:10 in relation to Israel’s rejection of Jesus.
In Zechariah 12:1-14 we learn that the people of Jerusalem will mourn over the Messiah they pierced.
And by inference, a pierced Messiah is a rejected Messiah.

POI – With regards to redemption of Israel as a nation, we learn in Zechariah 12:1-14 that at Christ’s 2nd coming, the people of Jerusalem will repent over the sin of rejecting Jesus.
And a repentant nation of Israel will be saved, “I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”.
The first coming was to a nation that rejected Jesus; the second coming will be to a nation that doesn’t.
In Revelation 7 we see, in the words of John MacArthur, “A missionary corps of redeemed Jews who are instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation. They will be the firstfruits of a new redeemed Israel. Finally, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the OT.”

The rejection in the NT:
In Romans 11:25-27 we learn that a “hardening” has occurred for the sake of the Gentiles.
In Luke 19:41-44 we learn from Jesus that because “they are hidden from your eyes” rejection is coming.
And though it is part of God’s plan, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and its coming destruction for this rejection.

Summary of Point 1:
Rejection of the Messiah is as much part of OT prophecy as a national redemption.
This rejection was always part of God’s plan and it ushered in God’s plan to redeem the Gentiles.
Israel as a nation will be redeemed in Christ’s 2nd coming.
As a matter of fact, it is a “pierced” and once rejected Messiah that does this redemption!
Jesus first came “humbled and mounted on an ass” as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9 and was rejected.
But He will be “coming with the clouds” as prophesied in Daniel 7:13.


Point 1 is drawn from Acts 13:23 and Acts 13:32-33.

The promise as revealed in the OT:
In Genesis 12:7 we find the promise; “To your offspring I will give this land.”
In Genesis 22:16-18 we get an elaboration of the promise in relation to obedience to God’s voice.
(As opposed to a position of offspring based on birth, as we will see.)
In Genesis 28:14-15 we get even more on the promise.

The promise as revealed in the NT:
In Galatians 3:16, Paul refers to Genesis 12:7 and calls Christ the “offspring”.
In Romans 9:8-9, Paul relates the promise of Jesus to the promised son (offspring) of Abraham and Sarah.
He does this because, He argues, it was the promise of God that resulted in the offspring and not “the flesh”.
Therefore, it is not the “children of the flesh” who are counted as offspring but the “children of the promise”.
To emphasize this point, Paul contrasts for us in Galatians 4:23 the birth of Isaac with the birth of Ishmael.

So what is a child of promise?
In Romans 4:13 Paul tells us that the promise offspring relationship is one of faith not the law.
And in Romans 4:16, he tells us that the promise rests on the grace of God not the works of man.
As mentioned earlier, being a promised offspring is a heart condition (“a circumcised heart” in the words of Moses) not a relationship based on a physical bloodline.
In Galatians 3:29 Paul tells us that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
In other words, believers in Christ are children of the promise; a promise that God made to Abraham.
Paul sums this up in Romans 1:1-6.

POI – the concept of Gentiles being heirs is called throughout Paul’s epistles a mystery as in Ephesians 3:6.

Summary of Point 2:
God’s promise to Abraham to give him an offspring referred to Isaac and Jesus Christ.
This offspring resulted from a promise of God not the work of the flesh (see Gen 21:1-2).
This means that the equation “Jew By Birth = Child of Promise & Salvation” is not the message of the OT.
The message is that anyone can be a “Child of Promise” by grace through faith in Jesus.
If the promise was based in the flesh, there is no hope for any person but a Jew; a descendant of Abraham.
Paul captures this in Romans 15:8-11, when he says, “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs…”


Point 3 is drawn from Acts 13:32-33 where Paul reveals that Jesus is the begotten Son of Psalm 2:7.

Gennao – Translated as “begotten” usually refers to being born (a son or daughter) of a man and woman; a form of the word is also translated in the Matthew genealogies as “father of”.
Paul, in his context, reveals a meaning that is linked to the covenant God made with King David in 2 Samuel 7:1-17.
It is not a reference to Jesus’ physical birth, but to his resurrection.

What the OT says about the Sonship of Jesus:
In 2 Samuel 7:14, we see the association of the Messiah with Sonship, and Sonship in the Davidic line.
In Psalm 2:7, written by David, we see again the association of Messiah and Sonship.
Paul, knowing the truth, rightly associates this Psalm with the Sonship of of Jesus Christ to God the Father.
In Psalm 89:27, we see the Sonship and Kingly associations in Messianic prophecy.

What the NT says about the Sonship of Jesus:
In Romans 1:4, Paul declares emphatically that Jesus was declared “The Son” by His resurrection from the dead.
In Hebrews 1:1-5, the also declares that Jesus is “The Son” and quotes Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14.
In Hebrews 5:5, Psalm 2:7 is quoted again as evidence of the sovereign appointment of the Son by the Father.

Summary of Point 3:
Paul is telling us that Jesus is the SON. He is the “forever” (eternal) SON of the eternal Father.
Jesus is begotten from the tomb – in other words, resurrected from the tomb by God the Father.
And because of this, we have confirmation that He is the King in the line of King David.
And that the Davidic Covenant is fulfilled in Jesus the Son of God.
And that Jesus has authority from God the Father.
“Today I have begotten You,” is resurrection day; it is the coronation day of King Jesus. It is the fulfillment of the OT prophecy of the “Messiah-King-Son” in the line of King David.


Point 4 is drawn from Acts 13:34-37 where Paul refers to corruption 4 times in 4 verses.
Diaphthora – Translated as “corruption” or “decay” means destruction to the body through decay or decomposition after death.
In the OT, it refers to the “pit” meaning the grave or a “pit of corruption”.
In other words, the picture is of a grave filled with a dead, decaying body (a mass of organic, putrid liquid).

Some Basic Observations:
Paul, in Acts 13:30, says God raised Jesus from the dead.
Paul, in Acts 13:31, says we know this because of the witnesses.
POI – 1 Corinthians 15:16 we learn there were over 500 witnesses!
Paul, in Acts 13:33, says again that God fulfilled promise by raising Jesus.
Paul, in Acts 13:34, says again that God raised Jesus from the dead and now elaborates on the raising as “no more to return to corruption.”
Paul, in Acts 13:35, further expounds on this elaboration by quoting David from Psalm 16:10 where David says the Holy One will not see corruption.
Paul, in Acts 13:36-37, contrasts David fulfilling his purpose, dying and then seeing corruption, with Jesus, “whom God raised up did not see corruption.”
Paul also says again the God raised Jesus from the dead.
Paul mentions Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and his not seeing corruption 4 times in these 8 verses.
Paul's repetition reveals how profoundly important this is to his theology.

“The Corruption” in the OT:
1 Kings 2:10 states the obvious concerning David, to which Paul alludes in Acts 13:34.
From Psalm 16:10, however, Paul tells us that the Holy One will not see corruption.
So if David died and saw corruption, Jesus, by His resurrection, is the one to whom the Psalm refers, not David.
And this again is a reminder that because of this, Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy and he has “the holy and sure blessings of David”, as quoted from Isaiah by Paul.

“The Corruption” in the NT:
In John 11:39 we have a NT example of corruption.
In Acts 2:25-28 Peter’s sermon makes the exact same point as Paul and also quotes Psalm 16:10.
In Romans 6:10, Paul begins to make further implications from Jesus’ resurrection – death no longer has dominion!

Summary of Point 4:
Messianic Resurrection is in the OT!
We see further confirmation that the Messiah, logically, was ordained to die otherwise the notion of corruption makes no sense.
And so at the end of the day, with no resurrection there is no Son, no Davidic eternal kingdom, no fulfillment of prophecy, no Messiah.
This is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that if there is no resurrection then our faith is in vain.

POI – In Acts 13:36 Paul tells us that David served the purpose of God.
This is an encouragement to us.
David, a murderer and adulterer, was able to serve God’s purpose!
What does this say about God?


Acts 13:13-26 - OT to JC in 8 Steps

Acts 13:13-25 – OT to JC in 8 Steps

Diving Deeper Lesson Outline for Acts 13:13-25
This is lesson 1 of 3 on Paul’s sermon in Acts 13.
Part 1 is the “Jesus Was” of Paul’s sermon.
Part 2 will cover the “Jesus Is.”
Part 3 will cover the “Jesus Can Be.”
Title derived from Paul’s overview of OT history which culminates with Jesus Christ in Acts 3:23.

Acts 13:13 and following is Paul’s first recorded and longest sermon.
There are at least 6 recorded for us.
It behooves us to pay attention to what the greatest evangelist of all time preaches.
It contains obvious parallels to Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7.
“Both sermons emphasize God's raising up leaders for Israel, but with a major (though complementary) difference: Stephen pointed to Israel's rejection of its God-sent leaders, while Paul stressed God's grace in providing the leaders.” – ESV Study Bible

Point 1 is a drawn from the actions ascribed to God, by Paul, in Acts 13:17-22.

The Actions and the Scripture background:
Genesis 12:1, Genesis 17:7 and in Psalm 135:4
Exodus 1:7 and Psalm 105:24
LED OUT OF EGYPT in Acts 13:17
Deuteronomy 4:20, Nehemiah 9:9-12 and Psalm 78:12-13, Micah 7:15
PUT UP WITH in Acts 13:18
Exodus 16:2-3, Deuteronomy 9:7, Nehemiah 9:16-21, Acts 7:39-43 and Hebrews 3:7-10
GAVE THEM LAND in Acts 13:19
Deuteronomy 7:1 and Psalm 78:55
GAVE THEM JUDGES in Acts 13:20
Judges 2:16-20
GAVE THEM A KING in Acts 13:21
1 Samuel 10:1 and Hosea 13:11
RAISED UP DAVID in Acts 13:22
1 Samuel 13:14, 2 Samuel 5:3-5 and Psalm 78:70-72

In examples above, the sovereignty of God is evident in all of Israel’s history.
God was their cause and source.
They were done His way, at His timing, for His glory.
And Paul’s carefully chosen OT references were more than just a primer on OT history.
Paul was painting a road sign that read, “This Way to Jesus.”

Point 2 is drawn from a comparison of the work of God in Israel’s in Acts 13:17-22 and the work of Jesus (also see Jude 1:5 in ESV for NT take on Jesus in OT).

Jesus is part of this history, literally, as a promised offspring (Acts 13:23) of King David:
See Jeremiah 23:5 about the “righteous Branch” of King David.
See 2 Samuel 7:12-17 about the “promised offspring” of King David.
John the Baptist understood that Jesus was Messiah (John 1:19-23)
The Gospel of John 7:42 asks what Paul was essentially asking – “Has not Scripture said…”
Jesus, as evident by his relationship to David, is part of the unbroken will of God for Israel since choosing Abram.

Jesus is part of this history as God's will for Israel expressed solteriologically:
God Chooses
person (Abraham) to begin a nation // person (Jesus) to save a nation
God Makes
the Hebrews prosper & multiply // leading, ultimately, to the birth of Jesus (Gal 3:8).
God Leads
the Hebrews out of Egypt and redeems them // Jesus to the Cross to redeem us
God Put Up With
disobedience and was “ready to forgive” (Neh 9:17) // disobedience and, in Jesus, He forgives
God Gives
promised land through the shedding of blood // promised salvation through shedding of Jesus’ blood
God Gives
Judges & Kings authority to rule and protect // Jesus authority to conquer sin and save
God Raised Up
David as King // Jesus from the grave to be our unfailing King!

Not only is Jesus historically the Messiah but he is effectually the Messiah – Jesus Saves.
Paul tells us in Acts13:26 that JESUS IS the salvation message of Israel’s history!

The OT relationship to JC makes sense to discuss with Jews/God Fearers who were familiar with that history.
But does OT have any place in a modern day Gospel message?
In Acts 17:22-31, Paul takes a different approach – meets them where they are.
But He still preaches a God of history.
Do you see the OT has relevant to your spiritual maturation?
Is there a Gospel message without the OT?


Acts 13:4-12 - Smart Believe & Worldly Deceive

Acts 13:4-12 - Smart Believe & Worldly Deceive

Diving Deeper Lesson Outline for Acts 13:4-12
Title derived from "intelligent" Sergius believing as opposed to Bar-Jesus, the false prophet, seeking to turn Sergius away. It is my opinion that an "intelligence" that leads one to Christ originates with God and not the person. Many believe that Bar-Jesus, because he was described as a false prophet, was a Jew who either represented himself as, or had associations with, the Cypriot Christian community.


Point 1 is a general principal drawn from entire text.

Examples of this principal from other OT and NT texts:

  • Exodus 7:8-13 - Battle of the Staffs
  • 1 Kings 18:22-40 - Who said fire and water don't mix?
  • Acts 8:9-14 - Crowd amazed by Simon, but Simon amazed by Peter

The example of this principal from our text - Acts 13:4-12:

  • Sergius Paulus, at some earlier time, was impressed enough with Bar-Jesus to appoint him as part of his entourage; presumably, due to his abilities. But Sergius, seeing the power of God's Word in Bar-Jesus' loss of vision, is astonished by the Word of God as proclaimed by Paul and so believes. Sergius' belief is a victory over and condemnation of Bar-Jesus teachings and desire to turn Sergius away.
  • POI - Non-believers most often see above stories as untrue; as made up simply to elevate Judaism/Christianity above the competition. They are unable to see the deeper implications of the truth of Scripture as we hope to uncover below.


Point 2 is drawn specifically from the confrontation of a Spirit filled Paul with Bar-Jesus, a false prophet. See Acts 13:9 for description of Paul and see Acts 13:6 for description of Bar-Jesus.

Examples of similar conflicts from other OT & NT texts:

  • Evidence of the conflict from the OT
  • Deuteronomy 18:22 - OT description of false prophet
  • Jeremiah 29:8-14 - OT example of false prophet
  • Evidence of the conflict from the NT
  • 2 Peter 2:1-3 – NT description of false prophet seeking personal gain
  • 2 Cor 11:12-15 – Paul expresses desire to expose and undermine them

The example of this conflict from our text - Acts 13:9-11:

  • Holy Sprit filled Paul identifies and exposes Bar-Jesus. He calls Bar-Jesus, meaning "the son of Jesus", "the son of the devil." Bar-Jesus had made crooked the straight paths of the Lord with his words and actions. And, as an enemy of righteousness, is rendered as blind visually as he is spiritually. Bar-Jesus' deceitful words are unable to turn Sergius from the inspired Word of God as proclaimed by Paul.


Point 3 is derived from contrasting the attitudes of Sergius and Bar-Jesus toward Paul's proclaimation of the Word of God. Sergius is said to be intelligent in Acts 13:7. Bar-Jesus is wordly because of his status as a false prophet who corrupts the truth of God for personal gain. See notes under outline title at top and see Acts 13:6 and Acts 13:10.


  • SOUGHT TO HEAR (Acts 13:7) - Sergius desires to hear what Paul and Barnabas have to say.
  • SAW (Acts 13:12) - Sergius recognizes/witnesses the truth of God's Word proclaimed by Paul.
  • ASTONISHED (Acts 13:12) - Sergius has a heart & mind that have the capacity to be struck exceedingly with amazement and fear at the Truth of God's Word.
  • BELIEVED (Acts 13:12) - In God's grace, acts upon the Truth of God's Word and believes. Thereby validating Luke's description of him as intelligent.


  • SOUGHT TO TURN (Acts 13:8) - Bar-Jesus, concerned with threat to his own position and way of life, seeks to hinder its presentation to Sergius
  • MAKING CROOKED (Acts 13:10) - Bar-Jesus has a heart that seeks to warp and distort the truth of God’s Word and to do so for personal gain. If he loses, he is out of a job
  • CONSUMED BY DARKNESS (Acts 13:11) - He ultimately falls victim to his opposition to righteousness and is blinded. We can only hope that in his darkness, he finally saw the light.

So are we intelligent or worldly?
Do we recognize, see, the truth of Scripture and apply it?
Are we astonished or struck with amazement by God’s word?
-- OR --
Are we more concerned with ourselves (worldly)?
Do we misapply or ignore God’s word to suit our needs?
Do we operate in life based on the truth of Scripture or based on our own worldly experience?