Posted by: Bay Presbyterian Church | October 5, 2010

A Walk With Paul – About the Man

A Walk with Paul – His Missionary Journeys

Paul was an incredible man.  Wow!  That just doesn’t do it justice.  He was chosen by God to spread the “Good News” throughout the world.  He was tireless, selfless, beaten and imprisoned for the cause of Christ and was willing to give his life for the Lord, which in the end he did.  His true love and endless faith for the Christ he never personally met is an example for all believers today.

Rembrandt’s rendition of Paul, 1635

Paul writing letters to Christians

Over the next few months, we’re going to take a “Walk with Paul” on a number of his missionary journeys.  We won’t be able to touch all the places he visited, but hopefully you’ll find the ones we do visit of interest to you.

Saul (Paul) was thought to have been born in 2 AD, which made him just a few years younger than Jesus.  He came from Tarsus, the capital of Roman Cilicia, located on the Cydnus River.  His father was from the tribe of Benjamin which made him a pure Jew, giving him special privileges and the opportunity to grow into an adult of upright character.

Gate Used by Cleopatra’s to Enter Tarsus

At this time most Jews weren’t Roman citizens.  Citizenship outside of Italy was an honor held for those who donated generously to the Empire.  This tells us that Saul’s parents were people of influence and had more than average wealth.

Saul was educated at the university in his town of Tarsus.  It was the best education a young man could hope for.  After university he studied law in Jerusalem at the age of 13.  Having one of the best rabbinic scholars as his teacher, Paul received an excellent education.  He returned home and pursued a career in tent-making.  With the death of Christ and Christianity spreading, he returned to Jerusalem where he became a key player in the persecution of Christians.

Saul was present when Stephen was stoned.  He didn’t actually throw the stones himself, but he encouraged the others.  Stephen was the first of Christ’s followers to be martyred.  At this time, Saul was going from house to house dragging out believers and putting them in jail.  His beliefs were so strong that he didn’t care if they were men or women.  He then asked for a list of believers in Damascus and determined to go there to seek them out.

While traveling to Damascus with the list, Paul and his men were struck by an intense light; “4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:4-6

The brilliant light had blinded Saul so his bewildered companions had to help him reach Damascus.  Just as Christ had told him, a man named Ananias came and took him to safety and Saul, who then became Paul, was baptized.  Soon afterwards Barnabas approached Paul and together they began traveling and preaching the gospel of Christ.

Thus began Paul’s missionary journeys.

Paul’s First Missionary Journey (47-49 AD) – Acts 13-14, with Barnabas

  1. Antioch and Seleucia (starting point)
  2. Cyprus – home of Barnabas
  3. Salamis – John Mark joins
  4. Paphos, Cyprus – conversion of Sergius Paulus
  5. Perga – John Mark leaves
  6. Pisidian Antioch – First Gentile Christian congregation
  7. Iconium (Konya) – many believe
  8. Lystra – Paul and Barnabas treated as gods
  9. Derbe – success
  10. Lystra – Paul appoints elders
  11. Iconium – Paul appoints elders
  12. Pisidian Antioch – Paul appoints elders
  13. Perga – Paul appoints elders
  14. Attalia

Return to Syrian Antioch 

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (50-53 AD) – Acts 15:36-18:22, with Silas

  1. Antioch (starting point)
  2. Syria and Cilicia
  3. Derbe
  4. Lystra – Timony joins the party
  5. Phrygia and Galatia – Holy Spirit prevents them going to Bithynia
  6. Troas – Paul’s vision of the man of Macedon
  7. Philippi – conversion of Lydia, thrown in jail, earthquake, conversion of jailer – gospel goes to Europe
  8. Thessalonica
  9. Berea (Veria) – Jews examine scriptures – memorial of Paul’s preaching
  10. Athens – Paul preaches the Unknown God on the Areopagus
  11. Corinth – Paul stays for 18 months, with Aquila and Priscilla, writes 1st and 2nd Thessalonians
  12. Ephesus – farewell
  13. Jerusalem

Return to Syria

Paul’s Third Missionary Journey – Acts 18:23-28:31, with Timothy

  1. Phrygia and Galatia
  2. Ephesus– Paul stays for two years, writes 1st Corinthians and possibly Galatians
  3. Macedonia – Paul writes 2nd Corinthians
  4. Corinth– Paul stays 3 months, writes Romans
  5. Troas – stays for 7 days; Eutychus and the nighttime meeting
  6. Assos (Behramkale) – Acts 20:13,14 – Aristotle taught here
  7. Mitylene
  8. Samos
  9. Miletus – farewell speech to Ephesians (?)
  10. Jerusalem– imprisoned
  11. Caesarea – Paul in prison for two years; Felix, Festus, Agrippa

Malta – shipwreck en route to Rome

Paul in Rome

According to early belief, Paul was imprisoned in Rome in 53-62 AD and again in 64 AD. While in Rome he wrote the New Testament books of Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus. According to 4th-century historian, Eusebius, he was beheaded in Rome in 67 AD. 

Source:  Sacred Destinations


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