The First Missionary Journey of the Apostle Paul
If you have ever picked up your Bible and opened up to the New Testament, chances are that you will open to a page written by the Apostle Paul, as he has written almost half of the books in the New Testament. You may wonder as you read about his journeys and the letter’s that he wrote to various communities, what it means to be an apostle. The Anchor Bible Dictionary states: “An apostle in the New Testament is an envoy, an ambassador, or a missionary. In the New Testament the term “apostle” is applied to one who carries the message of the Gospel.” From this definition we can conclude that Paul carried the message of the gospel, and preached to whomever he encountered as he went along with his journeys.
When you take a look at the life of Paul you would not have chosen him to become one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Before his conversion Paul was known by his Jewish name of Saul, and he was a persecutor of the Christian Church. While Paul was on a journey to persecute Christians in Damascus he had a sudden vision of Jesus Christ. “3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:3-4. This was the changing point in Paul’s life and he immediately realigned his stances and began his ministry.
For roughly ten years Paul had been preaching to the Gentiles in Cilicia and Syria, so the idea of a missionary journey would not be something brand new to him. At the time that Paul was called by the Holy Spirit to begin his endeavor Barnabas had been given the same calling. Due to their similar circumstances they decided to go together, and to their benefit they had the support and the prayers from their church an Antioch.
The first destination on this journey was to the Island of Cyprus. They set sail from Antioch’s port Seleucia Pieria in the year 45 AD. This was the...
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