JESUS’ HAND: Acts 11:19-30

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BIG IDEA

In Acts 11 we see the hand of Jesus fulfilling his purpose to build his church. Jesus is building his church according to the plan and he stated that in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This is comforting, because as believers in Jesus Christ we have been sent out to go and make disciples. This great truth helps us overcome trials and tribulations that we will undoubtedly face in both life and death. The gospel crossed countries, races, false gods, and even persecution. Jesus prevailed!

SCRIPTURE

ACTS 11:19-30 19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days ofClaudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

DISCUSSION 

1. Was there anything from the sermon, the big idea, or Acts 11 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you?

Jesus is building his church according to the plan and he stated that in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

2. How is it clear in this passage that Jesus is the One who builds the church? What does the activity of the church look like in Acts 11 as Jesus builds it?

This is comforting, because as believers in Jesus Christ we have been sent out to go and make disciples. This great truth helps us overcome trials and tribulations that we will undoubtedly face in both life and death.

3. Why is it comforting to know that Jesus is the One who builds his church?

The gospel crossed countries, races, false gods, and even persecution. Jesus prevailed!

4. How has the gospel of Jesus crossed countries, races, false gods, and even persecution since this story in Acts 11—can you think of other examples from history? How did the gospel come to you and when did you start trusting in it?

GOOD WORD

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

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