Chapter 14 records the completion of Paul's first missionary journey. Paul and Barnabas met with opposition in verses 1-20. That opposition did not stop them; instead they stayed in the cities and continued to preach.
Each of us can learn a practical lesson from this chapter. Wherever the Gospel is preached and some believe, you will find division and disturbance. Even today, many Christians suffer because of loved ones who have rejected Christ. But it is not for us to quit the battle of faith; we should, rather, surrender our will to our Commander, Jesus Christ, and allow Him to win our battles for us.
In chapter 15:36-41 Paul and Barnabas severed their missionary relationship and each took new associates. Paul chose Silas, and Barnabas took John Mark. Paul felt that John Mark had failed them on their first missionary journey, since he departed from them at Pamphylia. But Barnabas was a relative of John Mark and was willing to give him another chance. From these verses we see that it is possible for men to agree doctrinally and yet disagree in practical things. Of course, differences are always regrettable; and the Lord can overrule them when we take them to Him.
Silas, who had been a key figure in the Jerusalem assembly (chapter 15:22) and also a prophet (verse 32) was now Paul's partner. Timothy, a young man who had been saved when Paul visited Lystra on his first missionary journey, joined Paul and Silas, taking John Mark's place (chapter 16:1-5). Timothy, no doubt, witnessed Paul's suffering at Lystra (II Timothy 3:10,11), and had proved himself worthy of Christian service.
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