The Gospel From the Old Testament: Acts 13:16-25
“16) Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 17) The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it. 18) For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness. 19) When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance—all of which took about four hundred and fifty years. 20) After these things He gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21) Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22) After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ 23) From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, 24) after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25) And while John was completing his course, he kept saying, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. But behold, one is coming after me the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’” Acts‬ ‭13‬:‭16‬-‭25‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬
We now have a sample of Paul’s preaching. He walked through the whole Old Testament to paint a panoramic view of the Gospel ending at the feet of Jesus Christ. He showed that God consistently worked through the nation of Israel bringing them to the promise of the Messiah.
Admittedly, this was a very Jewish message, but remember, Paul was in a Jewish synagogue. He applied the gospel to the audience. Jesus became the focus and climax of his message. He wove the whole Old Testament together to make the case that Jesus Christ was indeed the promised Messiah. His message was not finished yet, but his argument was clearly presented and almost impossible to refute.
This text is most likely not your favorite passage in the Bible, but for his Jewish audience that day, it was like a lightening bolt of truth. The Holy Spirit used it to open their eyes to the gospel. All of the Bible stories they had head for years suddenly made sense. The Holy Spirit was opening their eyes.
Never underestimate the value of the Old Testament or the many Bible stories learned by a child that “gives them the wisdom that leads to salvation. (2 Timothy 3:15) When the Holy Spirit suddenly turns the lights on in a persons understanding, Jesus is calling their name and inviting them to follow Him. He is the one that draws people to salvation.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global