Acts 13-14: Paul's First Mission

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 102–103


In what countries have missionaries from your family or area served? Missionaries today are sent almost everywhere in the world. Paul played an important part in starting this worldwide missionary effort. Acts 13 tells about Paul’s being called on his first missionary journey. He left Antioch with Barnabas and traveled to Cyprus and what is now known as Turkey. Many people accepted his message, but others considered him an enemy and tried to stop the work he was doing. In spite of this opposition, he was able to begin many new branches of the Church wherever he went. Like the missionaries you know, Paul served with all his heart to bring the gospel to the people of the world.
Paul teaching

Understanding the Scriptures

Acts 13

Separate (v. 2)Set apart for a mission 
Subtilty (v. 10)Lying, deceit 
Corruption (vv. 35–37)Decay of the body 
Justified (v. 39)Forgiven, declared not guilty 
Proselytes (v. 43)Converts 
Expelled (v. 50)Forced to leave 

Acts 14

Made their minds evil affected (v. 2)Turned their minds against 
Jupiter … Mercurius (v. 12)Two false gods of Roman mythology 
Scarce restrained (v. 18)Barely stopped or held back 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you study Acts 13–14.

Activity A iconPaul’s Mission Begins

men in ships

Read Acts 13:1–5 and answer the following questions:

  1. 1.

    How was Paul (Saul) called on a mission?

  2. 2.

    Who was called to serve with Paul?

  3. 3.

    How does the fifth article of faith apply to that situation?

Activity B iconTeaching in the Synagogue

Paul teaching

Paul used the same approach to teach the gospel in Antioch that he used in most of the places on his first mission. As you read Acts 13:14–52, answer the following questions in your notebook:

  1. 1.

    Where did Paul go first when he wanted to teach the gospel in Antioch?

  2. 2.

    Why did Paul remind the people about Israelite history? (see Acts 13:16–22).

  3. 3.

    How does the reaction of the people in Antioch compare with the way people respond to the missionaries today?

Activity C iconTribulation and the Kingdom of God

Paul said that we enter the kingdom of God only through much tribulation (see Acts 14:22). Compare what happened to Paul in Acts 14:6–18 to what happened in verses 19–21. How was each experience an example of what Paul said in verse 22?

Activity D iconTake a Trip with Paul

In your notebook, draw a map like the one shown below. Label the places Paul went on his first mission and use arrows to show his travels. See Bible map 13 if you need help.