Vs. 2, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” We now come to a major division in the book of Acts. This new period is a time where the Gospel spreads out to the Gentile world. Local churches are established by Paul and others. The church of Antioch takes center stage as it sends out missionaries to the world. As Paul, Barnabas, & Mark (John Mark), travel on Paul’s first missionary trip they come upon Bar-Jesus, a false prophet. Paul denounces the false prophet & shows God is far more powerful than any of Satan’s evil agents. Here, we also read of Mark desertion from Paul & Barnabas…we will discuss this matter later on. They arrive to Pisidian Antioch (Not the same Antioch in the beginning) and preach first to the Jews & then to the Gentiles. However, the Jews became jealous & ran them out of the region…but we see that did not hinder the growth of Christians in that region.
Regarding application…Facing Opposition. Vs. 50, “…They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.” Where God plants prophets, Satan will plant false ones. Jesus himself would share this point from the Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30). Satan sows seeds of weed among the wheat. Do not ever be suprised or shaken when you face opposition for serving & walking for the Lord. Remember, consider it an honor if you are persecuted because it means Satan sees you as a threat…and that is a very good thing =) Notice that Satan used “religious” people this time, not just false prophets. These are religious people who persecute in the very name of Christ, yet are agents of Satan. But the opposition would not stop Paul & the others because they were filled with the Holy Spirit & had the energy & power to continue on!