“Words of Encouragement!” Acts 13:15-16    

What did the “rulers of the synagogue” in Antioch of Pisidia expect from their visitors when they invited them to speak saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.”

Did they know they would speak about the promised Messiah? Had word of Paul and Barnabas and their miraculous power shown at Paphos to the proconsul, Sergius Paulus been told them?

What did Paul and Barnabas expect and what was their outlook at this time? After traveling by ship to Perga, John Mark decided not to continue with them and left. How much of a strain did it cause on Paul and Barnabas’ relationship? Perhaps enough that they felt less sure of their calling, abilities and were tempted to be discouraged. Yet, the leaders of the synagogue asked them for words of encouragement. What would Paul say?

Question: What is the connection between Sergius Paulus, the proconsul of Cyprus, andPisidian Antioch, where Paul and Barnabas went after they left Cyprus?

Answer: An inscription with the name Sergius Paulus was found at Pisidian Antioch. This suggests that Sergius Paulus may have urged Paul and Barnabas to take their message to Pisidian Antioch because he had some personal connection there.