Proclaiming the Good News

There are many that want to tell you what you can and can’t do, and even in the Church, there are those that, in the name of God, are setting limits around what you can or should do. There was though, one man here, that recognized the move of God in Acts 11:24 “because he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” and in Acts 11:23 “saw the grace of God, rejoiced and encouraged them all”. Because Barnabas had faith to believe that God could do his work, because he knew the move of the Holy Spirit, he didn’t correct them for speaking to the “Hellenist”, the Greeks, the gentiles, instead he encouraged them and in Acts 11:24 “a large number were added to the Lord.” and now we also read, in Acts 12:24 “But the word of God kept on increasing and multiplying”.


Those of the Circumcision Took Issue

Acts 11:1-10
This news about the gentiles in Acts 11:1 was more widespread and with greater impact than our translation indicates. It wasn’t just that there was a morsel of news, this was news to “The whole church throughout Judea—leaders and people together … soon heard the news that the Gentiles also had received the word of God (cf. 8:14; 11:22; 15:24)”.

Then, in Acts 11:2-3 “when Peter went up to Jerusalem” this was “some-time later … he faced the sort of criticism that Jesus did when challenged by the Pharisees and the teachers of the law about eating with sinners (Lk. 5:30; 15:2; 19:7).”1 So, Peter doesn’t react emotionally or get defensive, in

Acts 11:4 “But Peter began and explained it to them in an orderly sequence, saying,”

Peter is just giving them events as he and the six with him had observed them. However, this explanation is only needed because their had been factions among the Jews and some of these different beliefs came into the early church. Now, “Some have suggested that Peter’s critics were ‘the circumcision party’ (JBP), that is, ‘the right-wing Jewish Christians’, ‘the extremists’ or ‘the rigorists’.36 But the Greek phrase need only mean ‘those who were of Jewish birth’ (NEB), namely the whole Christian community in Jerusalem, all of whom up to that time were Jews”.2

This question being raised by “those of the circumcision” is a reminder that this sign of the covenant, circumcision, ran deep in Judaism and this is “a debate that will soon surface about the initiation of Gentiles into the church (15:1–29)”3

But this coming debate isn’t just about circumcision, it is also about the keeping of the law. And the Lord begins here showing that salvation is not by the law, but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as it says in

Romans 3:24 “being justified as a gift by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus”

Who Was I to be Able to Hinder God?

Acts 11:11-18 

Proclaiming the Good News

Acts 11: 19-24
What was intended to stamp out these believers in the way of Jesus Christ, instead spread the gospel to far reaches, but there was one problem, they were in Acts 11:19 “proclaiming the message to no one except Jews alone”. Then something unexpected happened, when the gospel was preached to the Greeks, they also received the Lord in

Acts 11:20–21 “But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they came to Antioch, began to speak to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.”

The Jews, even after their conversion through Jesus Christ, still had a mindset that God’s covenant was only for the Jews. When others heard, they were also converted and the Lord “was with them” also! But in

Acts 11:22 “the report came to the attention of the church that was in Jerusalem”.

They, as we often do, had to make sure those people in Antioch were doing it right. So, they sent Barnabas. Thank God they sent him because he recognized the work of God and didn’t squash them in

Acts 11:23 “when he arrived and saw the grace of God, rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with ⌊devoted hearts”

This man Barnabas, because he was “full of the Holy Spirit” and because he had faith in God that God would complete the work even through fallible people, because Barnabas had faith, “a large number were added to the Lord” in Acts 11:24.

They Met Together For A Whole Year

Acts 11:25-30

Prayer Was Fervently Being Made to God

Acts 12:1-5

Gird Yourself and Put On Your Sandals

Acts 12:6-11

Many People Were Gathered Together and Were Praying

Acts 12:12-19 

But the Word of God Kept on Increasing and Multiplying

Acts 12:20-25
The account here, turns to the natural government, Herod. And Herod is doing what government leaders in the world do, he was hosting a meeting of lobbyists who wanted support for their country. Maybe the best way to characterize this is by referring to the temptation of Jesus in

Luke 4:5–7 “And he led him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to him, “I will give you all this domain and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I can give it to whomever I want. 7 So if you will worship before me, all this will be yours.””

Herod sets his throne above them, and brings them in for an audience. As he begins his speech, they in Acts 12:22 “call out loudly, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’” but Herod is no god. Though Herod sat on his throne, and how many others are their like him? Even so, they have no impact on the power of the gospel and we should never believe that any show of “royal clothing” or any “judgement seat” among men can prevent it in

Acts 12:24 “But the word of God kept on increasing and multiplying.”

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Acts 11:1-30
  • Acts 12:1-25


  • 1. Peterson, D. G. (2009). The Acts of the Apostles (p. 342). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
  • 2. Stott, J. R. W. (1994). The message of Acts: the Spirit, the church & the world (p. 194). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • 3. Peterson, D. G. (2009). The Acts of the Apostles (p. 342). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.