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Acts 13:47-48 meaning...

The passage begins with a divine command: "For so has the Lord commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you as a light for the Gentiles, that you should bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth’" (Acts 13:47). This declaration serves as a powerful reminder of God's intentionality in reaching beyond cultural and religious boundaries. The imagery of light signifies not only illumination but also the revelation of salvation to those dwelling in spiritual darkness.

  • Divine Mandate for Inclusivity:

The Lord's command, as articulated in this passage, underscores the inclusive nature of the Gospel. By designating the followers of Christ as a light for the Gentiles, God is proclaiming a message of universality. This echoes Isaiah's prophecy, foretelling the Messiah's role as a light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6).

  • Joyful Response of the Gentiles:

Upon hearing this message, the Gentiles respond with joy: "When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord" (Acts 13:48). The joy emanating from the Gentiles is a testament to the transformative and uplifting nature of the Gospel. Their gladness is not just a fleeting emotion but an acknowledgment of the profound impact of God's word on their lives.

  • Glorifying the Word of the Lord:

The Gentiles not only experience joy but also glorify the word of the Lord. This response goes beyond mere acceptance; it reflects a deep reverence and appreciation for the divine message. The Word, in this context, becomes a source of worship and praise, resonating with Psalm 119:105, which describes the word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

  • Appointment to Eternal Life:

The passage concludes with a thought-provoking statement: "As many as were appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48). This raises questions about predestination and divine sovereignty in the realm of salvation. It suggests that belief is not solely a human decision but intricately tied to God's sovereign plan. Romans 8:29-30 further delves into the concept of God's foreknowledge and predestination.


Cross References:

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life." This verse aligns with the theme of God's universal love and the offer of eternal life to all who believe.

Romans 10:12: "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him." This cross reference reinforces the idea of inclusivity, emphasizing that God's salvation extends to all, regardless of ethnicity.

Ephesians 1:4-5: "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire." This reference touches on the concept of predestination, resonating with the notion of being appointed to eternal life.


In Acts 13:47-48, we witness a pivotal moment in the early Christian narrative, where the universal scope of God's salvation is proclaimed and joyfully received by the Gentiles. The passage challenges us to embrace the inclusive nature of the Gospel, recognizing that God's love knows no bounds. It also prompts reflection on the profound mystery of divine appointment and the transformative power of God's word in the hearts of those who believe.


Acts 13:47-48. So has the Lord commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you as a light for the Gentiles, that you should bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.’” As the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God. As many as were appointed to eternal life believed.