24 “Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples” (Acts 14:24–28).
Paul and Barnabas continued their journey back home by revisiting the churches God began through their preaching of the Gospel. They returned to Pisdia Antioch and then came back to Pamphylia. From there they continued to travel south to both Perga and Attalia.
Paul and Barnabas then sailed back home to Syrian Antioch. It was there that the church had commissioned the two of them to undertake their missionary journey. It was to this church that the two missionaries returned.
When Paul and Barnabas arrived in the city, they gathered the church together and gave a missions report. They told the church all that God had done through them and with them. They related how God had opened an entrance of faith to the Gentiles. They then remained with the believers in Antioch for some time.
It is interesting to me that God’s work through missionaries has not changed all that much in 2,000 years. A church, or churches, sends a missionary into the foreign field. The individual ministers there for a period of time. They then return to their sending churches to give a report of God’s work through them and with them.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “Thus ends the first missionary journey which lasted between one and two years and in which Paul and Barnabas traversed more than 700 miles by land and 500 miles by sea. But more than that, it demolished the wall between Jews and Gentiles (cf. Eph. 2:14–16). The two apostles had been committed by the church at Antioch to God’s grace (cf. Acts 15:40) and they saw His grace at work (cf. “grace” in 13:43; 14:3). Probably Paul wrote the Book of Galatians from Antioch shortly after his first missionary journey and before the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15).”
Take some time today to pray for missionaries you know and of which your local church financially supports.
Soli deo Gloria!