Paul’s Second Missionary Journey – Part 1 (Acts 16-18)
Welcome to Lesson 14 in your Bible Study of Acts.
In this lesson, we want to study some aspects of Paul’s second missionary journey. In later studies, we will touch down in individual cities like Philippi and Thessalonica to look more closely at what happened during Paul’s time there.
According to Acts 16-18, Paul, Silas and Timothy planted churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Corinth and possibly Athens (17:34).
- Take out a map that shows Paul’s Second Missionary Journey and trace out the locations of each of Paul’s stops.
- According to Acts 15:36, what was the original purpose and destination for this second trip?
- According to Acts 16:9-10, what prompted a change in the eventual destination of this trip?
Read Acts 15:36-40
- Whose side are you on (Paul or Barnabas’) in this portrait of real human conflict? State your reasons.
- Do you agree with the way these two pillars of the church handled their differences? Explain.
- Why would Paul be so stubborn on this issue? (Think back on the first mission and why it is important to have a team you can rely on.)
- Read Col 4:10; 2 Tim 4:11; Philm 24 and describe Paul’s feelings for John Mark later on. Does this vindicate Barnabas’ position or would you still side with Paul?
Silas and Timothy
Whenever you encounter personalities in the Scriptures, it is a tremendous blessing to stop and study their lives, characters and actions in the rest of the Bible. This gives you some great insights to apply to your own life and it helps you to navigate and put together different parts of the Bible.
- What contributions did Silas (Silvanus) make to the early Christian church (Acts 15:22; 16:23-34; 2 Cor 1:19; 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1; 1 Pet 5:12)?
- What can you imitate from this portrait of Silas in the New Testament?
- What contributions did Timothy make to the early Christian church (Acts 16:1-2; Rom 16:21; 1 Cor 16:10; 2 Cor 1:1; Col 1:1; Phil 2:19; 1 Thess 1:1, 3:2; 1 Thess 1:1; Philm 1:1). We can also include 1 and 2 Timothy in this list if we wanted to learn more about Timothy but these letters are bible studies in their own right.
- What can you imitate from this portrait of Timothy in the New Testament?
The call to preach in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10)
Read Acts 16:6-10
Within these two verses, the history of the primitive church changes course.
- What happened to the missionary team in Acts 16:6-7?
- Do you find God’s actions here surprising? What impact (if any) should this have on our evangelistic and church planting efforts
- Where else in Acts do we encounter visions that lead to specific actions by those receiving them? What does this communicate about God and his plans for / with the church?
- The vision that Paul sees is that of a man asking for Paul’s help. The word for “help” (boetheo – Strongs # 992) is used when someone is in danger and yells for assistance. Is this the perspective that you have with regards to those who have not heard the gospel? Why or why not?