The Rise of the Church of Antioch
- Acts 11:19 (KJV)
- Acts 11:20 (KJV)
- Acts 11:21 (KJV)
- Acts 11:22 (KJV)
- Acts 11:23 (KJV)
- Acts 11:24 (KJV)
- Acts 11:25 (KJV)
Here we see the rise of the Church of Antioch, Syria. Barnabas became an
integral part of this church. Antioch became the home base of the Gentile Church, as well as the home base of the Apostle Paul. From this point Antioch begins to take the lead in the Acts.
Character of Barnabas
Luke records (in verses 19-22) that Antioch was experiencing revival and that “a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. ” Then the brethren at Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch to help establish them in the faith.
“Cleaving unto the Lord” is a quote from Deuteronomy and Joshua (cf. Deut. 4:4, 10:20, 11:22, 13:4, 30:20, Josh. 22:5, 23:8). This is our salvation— cleaving and clinging to the Lord. We must hold onto Him, for He is our only hope. Now we have a description of Barnabas and his character.
In the original Greek, it says that he “diligently” sought for Paul. Barnabas was the man who first introduced Paul to the brethren in Jerusalem when he was first converted. Barnabas played an important role in helping Paul to get started in his ministry. Later, Barnabas disappeared from the narrative after he and Paul split up. After the separation there must have been a sadness in the heart of Barnabas for the rest of his life, as he was deflected from the course that God had chosen for him. This is the reason we must never leave a place angry or offended (Isa.52:12). Anyway, he traveled to Tarsus looking for Paul.
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