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Paul’s Cliff Notes | Acts 13:13-43

Takeaway Verse: Acts 13:38-39

We are here to proclaim that through this Man Jesus there is forgiveness of sins. Everyone who believes in Him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do.

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Welcome to The Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica Parkerson. This is the place where we meet up to read half a chapter of God’s word together and remember how loved we are. Jesus extends an amazing invitation to us in the Bible. He says, “Come to me and I WILL give you rest.” This is us RSVPing: Yes!! to that invitation. So take a deep breath, and let’s get started.

Today’s episode is called, “Paul’s Cliff Notes”. Do you remember Cliff Notes? I sure do. Before we dive into more of Acts chapter 13, please join me in a word of prayer. Father, we come to you in the name of Jesus. Thank you for meeting us wherever we are, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. You just meet us and love us through every mood. Oh, Father, we give you this time, and please open our hearts to what you want us to understand and receive from your word today. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, amen. 

Okay, let’s dive right in to Acts chapter 13. We’re gonna join the Apostle Paul on his journey. “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 they went to the synagogue for the services.” Keep that in mind. They went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. “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.’ So Paul stood up,” he was ready, “lifted his hands to quiet them and started speaking. ‘Men of Israel’, he said, ‘and you, God fearing Gentiles, listen to me. The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them multiply and grow strong during their stay in Egypt. Then with a powerful arm, he led them out of their slavery. He put up with them through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. Then he destroyed seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to Israel as an inheritance. All this took about 450 years.'” See, we’re talking Cliff’s notes here. Paul is summing things up. 

“‘After that God gave them judges to rule until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for 40 years. But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.'” Make me like David in that regard. Lord, I pray right now. “‘And it is one of King David’s descendants, Jesus, who is God’s promised Savior of Israel. Before he came, John the Baptist preached that all the people of Israel needed to repent of their sins and turn to God and be baptized. As John was finishing his ministry, he asked. ‘Do you think I am the Messiah? No, I am not. But he is coming soon and I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the sandals on his feet.’ Brothers, you sons of Abraham, and also you God fearing Gentiles'” non-Jews ‘”this message of salvation has been sent to us. The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the one the prophets had spoken about. Instead, they condemned him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophet’s words that are read every Sabbath. They found no legal reason to execute him, but they asked Pilate to have him killed anyway. When they had done all that the prophecies said about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead! And over a period of many days, he appeared to those who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to the people of Israel. And now here we are to bring you this good news. The promise was made to our ancestors, and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus. This is what the second Psalm says about Jesus:

‘You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.’

“‘For God had promised to raise him from the dead, not leaving him to rot in the grave. He said, ‘I will give you the sacred blessings I promised to David.’ Another Psalm explains it more fully: ‘You will not allow your holy one to rot in the grave.’ this is not a reference to David, for after David had done the will of God in his own generation, he died and was buried with his ancestors, and his body, decayed. No, it was a reference to someone else, someone whom God raised and whose body did not decay. Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man, Jesus, there is forgiveness for your sins.'”

Here’s our takeaway verse. ‘”Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight, something the law of Moses could never do. Be careful! Don’t let the prophet’s words apply to you. For they said, 

‘Look, you mockers, be amazed and die! For I am doing something in your day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about.’

“As Paul and Barnabas left the synagogue that day, the people begged them to speak about these things again next week. Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them to continue to rely on the grace of God.”

Paul gave the Cliffs Notes of hundreds and hundreds of years of Jewish faith and history. Do you remember Cliffs Notes from when we were in school? If you didn’t have time to read the book that you were supposed to read in English, you picked up Cliff’s notes, and you know you got to the meat of things. That’s what Paul did for us here, and it’s beautiful. And he also met the people where they are. He talked about the things that they hear in Synagogue week after week at Synagogue, and it’s a picture of how God meets you are wherever you are today, with his grace and in his love. So until next time, remember, you are loved. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at

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