Acts 15 — The Jerusalem Council, Paul and Barnabas Separate
Thoughts about serving others
This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.
My prayer is for you to join me on this journey. Subscribe to this blog below to get an email when a new post is available.
Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.
One Reply to “Aug 31 — Acts 15”
The great debate between Jewish and Gentile believers tests the disciples: Must one be circumcised? Peter’s short sermon silenced the assembly, “No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are” (Acts 15:11). Paul and Barnabas tell “about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them” (15:12). Finally, James speaks up quoting from the closing section of Amos and using this as the basis for his argument, “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God” (15:19). The entire scene was one of civility, where important matters were discussed and agreement was unanimous. All is well in the early church.
But wait…there’s more! When it came time for team selection, Barnabas and Paul “had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company” (15:39). This is pretty amazing to me because these two had been involved in great persecution and no doubt were extremely close. God used this disagreement to spread the Gospel even more. Paul and Barnabas ended up going their separate ways, but continued to spread the Gospel.
The argument was over Mark’s usefulness in ministry, Paul “did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work” (15:38). Barnabas saw something in Mark, a diamond in the rough, and committed his mission with Mark. These early leaders all served Christ well in their ministry. Toward the end of Paul’s earthly ministry, we read: “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).
Barnabas must have been a great teacher. He has long been my personal favorite, one I admire and attempt to model. He didn’t write half of the New Testament, but he supported Paul greatly in the beginning of his ministry. He was a hard worker, spreading the Gospel and training new leaders. Thank you Lord for the example of Barnabas! Help me to be one who builds up others, strong and steady for Christ.