BibleProject Luke-Acts Series - Lesson 7

The Apostle Paul (Acts 8-12) - BibleProject

In this lesson, you will explore how the Jesus movement expanded from a small group of Jewish followers in Jerusalem to a multi-ethnic community that spread throughout the nations. You will learn about the unexpected people who joined the movement, such as a sorcerer from Samaria and an Ethiopian delegate. You will also delve into the story of Saul's transformation from a persecutor of Jesus' followers to a devoted believer who announces the good news. Finally, you will discover how the first international Jesus community, the church in Antioch, was formed and how the message of the crucified Jesus as the king of all nations continued to spread.

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Taught by a Team
BibleProject Luke-Acts Series
Lesson 7
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The Apostle Paul (Acts 8-12) - BibleProject

BP160-07: Acts 8-12

I. The Movement Spreads Beyond Jerusalem

A. Followers Flee to Judea and Samaria

B. Unexpected People Join the Movement

1. Sorcerer from Samaria

2. Ethiopian Delegate

II. Saul's Transformation and Mission

A. Saul's Persecution of Jesus' Followers

B. Encounter with Jesus and Conversion

C. Saul Announces the Good News

III. Peter and Cornelius

A. Cornelius' Vision and Call for Peter

B. Peter's Vision of Impure Animals

C. Acceptance of Non-Jewish Believers

IV. The Church in Antioch

A. Reports of Non-Jewish Followers in Antioch

B. Barnabas and Saul Teach and Work in Antioch

C. First International Jesus Community

  • In this lesson, you learn about the events surrounding Jesus' birth in the Gospel of Luke, the humble beginnings that foreshadow his kingdom, and how his arrival signifies a world order turned upside down, exalting the poor and humble.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into Jesus' ministry, his teachings on freedom and radical living, the appointment of his twelve disciples, and his role as the ultimate prophet, as portrayed in the Gospel of Luke.
  • Through Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, you learn how his teachings and parables challenge traditional values, create communities of love and forgiveness, and demonstrate God's mercy for all, even those who have strayed from the path.
  • Through Jesus' final week in Jerusalem, you'll discover his prophetic protest, arrest, and crucifixion, highlighting his innocence and unwavering love for humanity, as he ushers in a new future for Israel and all people.
  • In this lesson, you learn about Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension as depicted in Luke's Gospel, revealing the transformative power of his message and the necessity for a new understanding of his kingdom, ultimately setting the stage for the continuation of the story in the Book of Acts.
  • In the Book of Acts, you learn about the fulfillment of God's promises through Jesus, the significance of Pentecost, and the challenges faced by early followers of Jesus. As you explore the events and stories in Acts, you will gain insight into how Jesus' kingdom continued to grow despite persecution and adversity.
  • Through the stories of unexpected converts, Saul's transformation, and the formation of the church in Antioch, you'll learn how the Jesus movement expanded from a small group of Jewish followers to a multi-ethnic community spreading throughout the world.
  • By studying the Apostle Paul's life and travels, you'll gain insight into his dedication to spreading Jesus' message throughout the Roman Empire, despite facing opposition and hardship, and how his teachings transformed people's lives and created new communities of believers living under Jesus' rule.
  • This lesson explores Paul's journey to Jerusalem and Rome, where he faced trials and imprisonment but continued to spread the good news of Jesus' kingdom. You will gain insight into the transformation of Saul into Paul, his mission to unify diverse communities, and the open-ended conclusion of Acts, which invites participation in the ongoing growth of Jesus' kingdom.

BP160-07 - The Apostle Paul (Acts 8-12)

During the first century when the Romans ruled the known world, a grassroots countercultural movement was born in the eastern end of the empire. Yeah. It started among the Jewish people who for centuries now have been scattered around the known world. But no matter where they lived or what language they spoke, they kept their identity as the family of Abraham, devoted to the one true God. Every year they would travel to Jerusalem for sacred festivals. During one of these, the feast of Pentecost, the visitors encountered a group of Jews who could somehow speak in everyone's native dialect. Yeah, they were telling stories about a man named Jesus who had been executed by the Romans. They claimed he had risen from the dead and was now exalted as the true king of Israel and the whole world. This Jesus was now calling people to adopt his upside down set of values and live under his rule, called the kingdom of God. Thousands of Jews decided to stay in Jerusalem and join the movement. It grew in size and in influence and gained favor with people. But not with the Jerusalem temple leaders. They viewed this whole thing as a dangerous religious sect and they even executed one of its leaders named Stephen. It is no longer safe in Jerusalem. So most of the followers flee for the outlying land called Judea. You might think that is the end of the story. But actually this tragedy became the way the movement spread outside Jerusalem. That is where the second part of the book of Acts begins. The scattered followers end up in surprising places like Samaria where their ancient enemies live. Yeah, and Luke shows us how all of these unexpected people start following Jesus. Like a sorcerer from Samaria who has to learn that the way of Jesus isn't about gaining power but giving it up to serve others. There is also a story about an Ethiopian delegate who, after discussing the scroll of the prophet Isaiah with Philip, decides to join the movement. Yeah, Jesus is expanding his movement out into Judea and Samaria just like he said he would. Which is great. But back in Jerusalem, we meet Saul of Tarsus. He is part of the religious elite who opposed the new movement. He is finding and arresting Jesus' followers anywhere he can. This is a cruel guy. But think about it from his perspective. In the past, Israel had turned away to other gods and a false prophet, leading to disaster. He believed he was protecting Israel and God's honor by getting rid of these people. Then Saul hears that the movement has spread north to Damascus. So he sets out there to find and arrest more followers On the way, Saul has this sudden encounter with the risen Jesus himself Jesus asks Saul why he is fighting against him. Then Jesus commissions Saul to now represent him to Israel and to the nations. Saul is stunned and speechless So he ends up in Damascus. But now he is announcing the good news about the Jesus he had just been attacking. No one saw this coming. Totally. The same goes for what happened next. Over in the port city of Caesarea, there was a Roman centurion named Cornelius. He represents everything the Jewish people would hate about the Roman occupation. An angel appears to him he tells him to call for a man named Peter So Peter comes and he finds Cornelius and his friends and his family all gathered together in his home. Yeah. This is scandalous. Jewish people don't enter a non-Jewish home, to avoid ritual impurity. So what is Peter going to do? Well, right before this, Peter had a vision. God brought to him a collection of animals that his people were forbidden to eat. Then God said to Peter, "Eat this." This is shocking to Peter. He says, "I've never eaten anything impure." God responds, "Don't call impure what I have may pure." Then that is it. The vision was over. So, Peter is going to start a new diet? No, he is an Israelite and he has honored these customary food laws his entire life. The vision was preparing him for this moment of him standing among impure non-Israelites. He realizes that God is declaring these people are a part of the family of Abraham. So Peter decides to stay and tell them about Jesus. The Holy Spirit shows up, just as he did at Pentecost. But now it is for a Roman centurion and his non-Jewish family. The movement is broken out. Back in Jerusalem, Peter is now telling the other apostles about what happened. They start getting reports about even more non-Jewish people following Jesus up in the big trade city north called Antioch. So they send a man there named Barnabas to check things out. Barnabas finds the Jesus movement alive and well in Antioch. And, he finds it is made up of people from all over the world. So Barnabas recruits Saul to come and work with him in Antioch for a year. They are teaching, living among the people there, watching the movement grow. The church in Antioch was the first International Jesus community. It is where Jesus' followers were first called Christians, the Christ ones. So the way of Jesus was transformed from a group of Messianic Jews in Jerusalem into the multi-ethnic Jesus movement spreading through the world. Their faith was the same. It was centered on the good news about the crucified Jesus, who is the king of all nations. But that message and their new way of life was confusing, even threatening, to the average Roman citizen living around them. The resulting conflict is what we will explore next as this movement goes global. Or, as Jesus said, "To the ends of the earth." ¡Hey guys, thanks for watching this video on the book of acts! This is part 2 and we have two more videos coming and a lot of videos coming and other videos on different kind of series. All the videos from the Bible Project are about exploring the Bible as one unified story that lead to Jesus. And we can make these videos because we have an incredible group of supporters. Probably even you watching ¡Thank you for being a part of this with us! You can find everything at: thebibleproject.com Thank you guys!