Acts 13:27
The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning Him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.
Abandonment of Missionary WorkW. Walters.Acts 13:13-52
Antioch in PisidiaW. Denton, M. A.Acts 13:13-52
I Will Make You Fishers of MenLisco.Acts 13:13-52
John MarkA. Maclaren, D. D.Acts 13:13-52
Paul At AntiochR. A. Bertram.Acts 13:13-52
Paul At AntiochW. G. Sperry.Acts 13:13-52
Paul in His Introductory Discourse Already a Complete PaulK. Gerok.Acts 13:13-52
Paul's First Reported SermonD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 13:13-52
Paul's First, Recorded SpeechJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 13:13-52
Paul's Missionary Discourse At Antioch in PisidiaE. Johnson Acts 13:13-52
Perga in PamphyliaBp. Jacobson.Acts 13:13-52
The Continental MissionM. C. Hazard.Acts 13:13-52
The Defection of MarkJ. S. Howson, D. D.Acts 13:13-52
The Departure of Mark and the Continuance of the ApostlesS. S. TimesActs 13:13-52
Another Faithful Sermon to the JewP.C. Barker Acts 13:14-41
The Christian FaithW. Clarkson Acts 13:14-41
Paul's Sermon in the Synagogue At AntiochR.A. Redford Acts 13:16-43
Christ, the World's SaviourLisco.Acts 13:17-41
The History of the Kingdom of GodK. Gerok.Acts 13:17-41
The Hours on the World's ClockK. Gerok.Acts 13:17-41
The Providence of God in the History of IsraelLisco.Acts 13:17-41
Ignorance of ProphecyPasteur Hirsch.Acts 13:27-32
Messianic Prophecy: its CharacteristicsPrincipal Cairns.Acts 13:27-32
Messianic Prophecy: its FulfilmentCredo.Acts 13:27-32
Necessity of an Unprejudiced Study of ProphecyBp. Chr. Wordsworth.Acts 13:27-32
The Rejection of ChristJ. W. Burn.Acts 13:27-32
The Voices of the ProphetsH. McNeile, D. D.Acts 13:27-32
These verses are part of an address which should have peculiar interest for us, seeing it is the first recorded speech of St. Paul the missionary, and gives us intimation of the points which were prominently before his mind as the themes of his ministry. It is singular to find St. Paul from this time more prominent than the eider man, Barnabas. It may be an example of the commonly observed fact that, sooner or later, the man of power and adaptation comes to the front place. St. Paul's power as a speaker is shown in this address. He was not a rhetorician, and was only in the higher sense eloquent. He was too intense to be careful of mere form, and his speech was always liable to sudden breaks and halts, through the rapidity with which new thoughts were suggested and side issues forced into consideration. His power lay in the intensity of his convictions, which gave a dogmatic and convincing force to the expression of his views; and in his strong sympathy with his audience, which made him quick to adapt himself to them, and so to press home his thought. In this address we may notice:

1. His characteristic attitude, standing up and beckoning with the hand (Acts 17:22; Acts 21:40; Acts 23:1; Acts 26:1).

2. His conciliatory introductions: he always strives first to be sure of a common platform with his audience.

3. His skill in dealing with the early histories; which served his purposes in two ways -

(1) by securing the attention of his Jewish audiences, which are to this day always pleased with reviews of the national history; and

(2) by bringing out the preparatory character of the earlier dispensation, and fitting his gospel message to it as a completion.

4. His firm handling of the facts connected with the mission of Jesus of Nazareth: his innocence; his death as a victim of ecclesiastical enmity; his resurrection.

5. His simple offer of pardon and life in the name of the glorified, living Savior. It is not conceivable that the gospel, in its very essence, can be more succinctly expressed than it has been by the Apostle Paul, in his missionary speeches (see especially here vers. 26, 32, 38, 39).

6. His force of passionate pleading and application of the truth to individuals, as shown in vers. 40, 41. It is to be noted that St. Paul always makes his appeal to both the intelligence and the heart, and the verses now before us for consideration show how he offered proofs of his statements which were well within the comprehension of his audience. A sentiment prevailed generally among the Jewish race concerning John the Baptist. St. Paul takes advantage of it, and shows how John gave his indirect and direct witness to the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth. It may be true that John's testimony to Jesus was of more value to a Jewish than to a Christian audience, but we question whether sufficient has ever yet been made of it as one of our best evidences to the truth of Christianity. Three things require careful study and efficient illustration.

I. JOHN'S PROPHET-CHARACTER. In fixing attention on John the Baptizer, men have lost sight of his more important relations as John the Prophet. "All men counted John as a prophet," the last of the line of men whom God was pleased to raise up, for a time, as the expounders to men of his will - the voices that spoke to men his message. It was the very essence of the prophet that he had a message from God to deliver, and a right to arrest men and compel them to listen to it. John's message was his mission, and his baptizing rite was but an accident or mode of expressing and sealing his message. We should ask - What did John say to men in the Name of God? not, What rite did John perform?

II. JOHN'S PREPARATORY WORK. This St. Paul dwells on. John never assumed that he had a message complete in itself, or that what he demanded was all, or even, the greatest thing, men needed. He was a herald, but his heralding assumed the close approach of the King. He was a mender of ways, but only to get ready for the royal progress. He demanded repentance, but only that men might be ready to receive the forgiveness and life which the King was coming to bestow. To stop with John is on the face of it absurd. There is no going on from John save to Christ.

III. JOHN'S DIRECT TESTIMONY. There should have been no need for this. And yet it forms a most valuable link, especially to Jews. John witnessed plainly that he had prepared the way for Jesus of Nazareth, that he was the Lamb of God to take away sins, and that God had given to him visible and audible testimony that Jesus was the expected Messiah and Savior. Accept John as prophet, we must accept Jesus as Messiah. - R.T.

For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not.

1. Ignorance of Christ Himself.

(1)Of His Divine Sonship.

(2)His mediatorial authority.

(3)His saving mission. Had they known all this, "they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

2. Deafness to the voices of the prophets who predicted Him. Here we have the two-fold ground of all rejection of Christ. If men only knew Him, and recognised the force of those many prophecies which find their fulfilment only in Him, the acceptance of His Person and saving benefits would be inevitable.


1. Christ was with them, and demonstrated His Divine personality and mission by many infallible proofs — His sinless humanity, His miraculous works, His wonderful teaching. Christ is not with us in the same sense; but we have the record of His life, which renders His modern rejection none the less inexcusable.

2. They heard the prophecies frequently read; and had they listened without prejudice, they must have seen how they all converged in Him. So now.

3. There was no cause for His rejection (ver. 28). He did them no harm, but ever strove to do them good. Why do you reject Him? Is it not because you will not come to Him that you may have life?


1. Their rejection, in its most aggravated form, only fulfilled the prophecies which went before on Him (vers. 27, 29).

2. God reversed the humiliation of death which they inflicted on Him by raising Him from the dead. What to them was the end of His mission, proved only its beginning.

3. Their rejection proved the origin of that gospel which Paul was now preaching to the wide world. Nor is this rejection any more successful now. "Whosoever falleth on this stone shall be broken," etc.

(J. W. Burn.)

Nor the voices of the prophets.
Some men ask, If the prophets spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, why did they not all speak in the same manner? Why these varieties of style? I will answer that by asking another question: Why do not all the pipes of the organ give one and the same sound? What awakens all the sounds but one and the same blast from the wind chest? If there be a monoblast, why is there not a monotone? Because the pipes are of different shapes and sizes; the awakening breath is one; the intonation varies with the shape and size of the pipe. The inspiration was one, but the style and manner varied with the disposition and character of the individual employed.

(H. McNeile, D. D.)

Christ is the only Person whose life was written beforehand; as, e.g., in the time, place, and manner of His birth; in the kind of life He was to lead, the kind of teaching He was to give, the kind of death He was to die. The strength of prophecy lies in its chain of references to Christ, from the first mention of the "seed of the woman" to the virgin-born Immanuel; from the sufferer whose heel is bruised in terms of the earliest promise, to the "Man of Sorrows" in Isaiah 53; from the peace-giving lawgiver of a yet uncrowned tribe to the heir of David, who enters the long established seat of rule as a king. Even the predictions that bear on the Church of God and its universal progress are but the sequel to those which foretell the personal Christ, and they then reflect the light of His exaltation; nor can the judgments of the Jewish nation be dissociated, as the depth of their fall is but the measure of the grace and truth that were in Christ, and for rejecting which they were to be cast away.

(Principal Cairns.)

When we see the predicted mission of the Messiah so faithfully fulfilled; when we see the great world's history bending itself to the birth of Jesus in the "anno domini" of its dates and superscriptions; when we see that the world has moved as in deepest sympathy with the humble Nazarene, working ever in His behalf; when we behold all events marching onwards through the centuries to the beat of time, preserving, as Napoleon thought, "a celestial order," to accomplish one given result, the universal and final ascendency of the Son of David; when we see that all opposing systems can no longer hold comparison with the religion given to the world by Him than can the pale, thin, extended crescent ring of the setting moon hold comparison to the full blaze of the unclouded noonday sun; when we discover that this mighty One issued from the House of David before its fall, and from Bethlehem in the days of Herod, must we not acknowledge that He is the Being whom the prophets declared to be one with the Father Almighty? As we see Him standing alone among the millions of the race, the only pattern of absolute perfection, whose entire life, without inclining a hair's breadth to either side, pointed straight upwards to heaven — as all the separate and wandering rays of prophecy that had sparkled through the Divine Word are combined and concentrated, and rest, as with a sacred halo, on His head — how can we do otherwise than proclaim our convictions in that prophetic, startling, and sublime word, "Immanuel!" — "God with us"?


I was visited by a very distinguished young Israelite, who had seen me distributing the sacred volume, and I proposed that we should read a portion of Scripture together. He agreed on the condition that it should be from the Old Testament; and I read the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. "But," said he, "that is in the New Testament." "No, no," I replied. "There, take the book. Read it with that true heart which I perceive in you, and you will find what you seek." He has found his Saviour, has accepted Him, and confesses Him with joy.

(Pasteur Hirsch.)

It is evident from this, and from Luke 23:34 and Acts 3:17, that the predictions of Holy Scripture may be accomplished before the eyes of men, while they are unconscious of that fulfilment; and that the prophecies may be even accomplished by persons who have the prophecies in their hands and do not know that they are fulfilling them. Hence also it is clear that men may be guilty of enormous sins when they are acting according to their own consciences and with a view to God's glory, and while they hold the Bible in their hands and hear its voice sounding in their ears; and that therefore it is of unspeakable importance, not only to hear the words of Scripture, but to mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, with humility and prayer, in order to understand their true meaning. Therefore the Christian student has great reason to thank God that He has given in the New Testament a Divinely-inspired interpretation of the Old, and has also sent the Holy Spirit, the Divine Interpreter, to abide with the Church. If the Jews and their rulers had not been swayed by prejudice, but, in a careful, candid, and humble spirit, had considered the evidence before them, they would have known that their promised Messiah was to be the Son of God, and that He was thus revealed as such in their own Scriptures, and thus His miracles would have had their due effect upon their minds.

(Bp. Chr. Wordsworth.)

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