Acts 11

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“Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul” (Acts 11:25 NLT).

June 17, 2018

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard about the great number of Gentiles coming to the Lord at Antioch, they sent their trusted representative, Barnabas, to the city. His real name was Joseph, but he had been nicknamed “Barnabas” by the apostles, which according to Acts 4:36 meant “Son of Encouragement.” He was from the tribe of Levi and grew up on the Island of Cyprus. He once sold a field and gave all the money to the apostles (Acts 4:37).

When Barnabas went to Antioch and saw how the Lord was moving there, he was overjoyed. He immediately decided to take the 4-day journey to Tarsus to look for Saul.

Why? The Bible doesn’t answer this question. But perhaps it was because he had heard Saul (whose name was changed to “Paul”) describe the word that Ananias had first spoken over him. For the Lord had told Ananias, “Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Certainly, the first great gospel movement among the Gentiles was at Antioch.

Regardless, Barnabas went to get Saul when he saw the great need for disciple-makers in Antioch. The two of them worked together there for a full year.

It was Barnabas who introduced Saul to the apostles when they had at first refused to see him. And it was Barnabas that went to find him when his help was needed at Antioch. Would “Saul” have ever become “Paul” without Barnabas?

Do you have a “Barnabas” in your life, who encourages you to get out of your comfort zone and pursue God’s calling?

“Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch” (Acts 11:19 NKJV).

June 17, 2017

Jesus had instructed His disciples that they were to be His witnesses to the “end of the earth” (Acts 1:8), yet it wasn’t until after the persecution in Jerusalem that they truly began to fulfill His call. As they scattered throughout the Roman world, great numbers of people turned to the Lord, especially among the Gentiles. Persecution had actually resulted in proliferation. The gospel went out across the world!

Are you going through a season of trouble? Perhaps the Lord is moving you out of your comfort zone to a place where the gospel can spread. Sometimes the Lord scatters us, in order to scatter the gospel seed to those whose hearts He has prepared to hear.

“The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26)

June 17, 2011

The ruins of this ancient Roman city are found in modern Turkey. Historians call it the “cradle of Gentile Christianity.” It was here that Barnabas brought Paul to help teach. The name Christian or “little Christs” was given because of the way these new followers gave glory to Christ in everything they did.