A broken friendship
The demands raised by some Jewish believers were finally resolved by the apostles, elders and the church at Jerusalem. This resulted in a letter given to the church at Antioch, sent back by Paul & Barnabas. They took Judas and Silas with them and strengthened the brethren with many words and stayed there for a time (Acts 15:32-33).
At the end of this period Paul speaks to Barnabas about visiting again the cities where they preached the word of the Lord. However Barnabas was determined to take John whose surname was Mark with him (Acts 15:37). Paul on the other hand did not think it good because he departed from them at Pamphilia and went not with them to the work (Acts 15:38). Sadly the dispute between them was so great they parted ways.
This is written for our learning as best friends have at times parted ways. Some believe Barnabas went on to mentor Mark when he sailed to Cypress but this is speculative with no scriptural basis to support it. Mark did become helpful to Paul later on in his life.
Barnabas moves out without the support of his brethren and we do not read of him anymore. He allowed a family relationship to get in the way of his spiritual discernment. This is all too familiar and a great hindrance at times to the work of God.
Paul commended by the saints at Antioch moves out on his second missionary journey. This time he takes Silas who was already established in the work of the assembly at Antioch. He then went on to Lystra and took Timothy with him. His mother was Jewish and his father Greek, giving him an understanding of cultural diversity.
Timothy has special qualifications for he was a disciple and well reported of by the brethren. (Acts 16:1-2). Paul saw in Timothy a young man who would be totally committed and would finish the task set before him. This is one of the features of discipleship spoken of by the Lord in Luke 14:28-29.
This began a strong lasting relationship and Paul could say of Timothy, “as a son with the father he has served with me in the gospel.” (Philippians 2:22) In other scriptures Paul speaks well of Timothy and refers him to be his beloved son!
A change in direction
As they went through the cities, churches were established in the faith and numbers increased daily (Acts 16:5). The churches took heed to the teachings given to them from the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.
We must continue to maintain the principles and practices of what has been set in Scripture. Living in an era of tremendous changes, some changes are for the better but other things should not change.
Obedience to the authority of Scripture is vital in maintaining an effective assembly testimony.
The servants passed through Galatia and were forbidden by the Spirit to preach the word in Asia. Coming to Mysa they desired to go into Bithynia but the spirit did not permit them. (Acts 16:6-7) When they came to Troas, Paul had a vision in the night from a man in Macedonia saying, “come over and help us.” This was acted upon immediately “being assured the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:10)
While the men sought to go into other areas they were reminded that the Holy Spirit was Commander in Chief.