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?