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  The Great Bible Story #125
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Missionary journeys

Jacob Ninan
When the disciples in the church at Antioch were praying and fasting, the Holy Spirit told them to set Barnabas and Saul apart for the special task He had given them. This was to go to different parts of the world and proclaim salvation through Jesus. Saul changed his name to Paul and they travelled to different places by sea and land. The usual approach they took was to go to the local synagogues and share from the Old Testament scriptures to show that Jesus was the Messiah. It happened many times that some Jews in the synagogues would believe. But then the other Jews would get worked up against them and drive out Paul and Barnabas, sometimes trying to kill them. But then Paul and Barnabas would separate the believers from the synagogues and help them to meet together, usually in homes. After some time they would travel to a new place. In this way churches (assembly of the called out) began to get set up in many places. Non Jews would also join them.

In Lystra, Paul saw a man who was born lame and asked him with a loud voice to stand up on his feet. This man jumped up and started walking! When the crowd saw this, they thought that their gods had come as men, and the priests brought sacrifices to offer to them. But Paul and Barnabas proclaimed loudly that they were ordinary men. But they also explained that they should turn from such gods to the true One who had created everything. Then Jews came after them from some places they had visited earlier, stoned Paul and pulled him outside the city assuming he was dead. But when they left, Paul got up and went away with the disciples.

When Paul and Barnabas came back to Antioch, some Jewish Christians came and began to teach that one couldn't be saved without circumcision. The church felt that Paul and Barnabas should go to Jerusalem to sort out this issue. During the discussion in Jerusalem Peter told them how God had given the Holy Spirit to the non Jews even without circumcision, and said that they should not be imposed with the burden of the Law which nobody had been able to carry. The gathering agreed with this, and adopted the view that non Jewish believers should only abstain from eating things offered to idols, blood and fornication.

When Paul and Barnabas were to start their next journey they had a difference of opinion about whether they should take John Mark with them or not. As a result, they parted ways, Barnabas going with John and Paul taking Silas with him.


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Comfort & Counsel