19 Some believers had been scattered by the suffering that unbelievers had caused them. They were scattered after Stephen was killed. Those believers traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. But they spread the word only among Jews. 20 Some believers from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch. There they began to speak to Greeks also. They told them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s power was with them. Large numbers of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22 The church in Jerusalem heard about this. So they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad. He told them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 Barnabas was a good man. He was full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. Large numbers of people came to know the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 He found him there. Then he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church. They taught large numbers of people. At Antioch the believers were called Christians for the first time. 27 In those days some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them was named Agabus. He stood up and spoke through the Spirit. He said there would not be nearly enough food anywhere in the Roman world. This happened while Claudius was the emperor. 29 The believers decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. All of them helped as much as they could. 30 They sent their gift to the elders through Barnabas and Saul.
These are exciting verses to read – describing the birth and early days of a new church. Antioch was born out of the overflow of believers having to flee persecution. As they moved on from their home to a find a new home – “in their going” they took the message of Jesus with them and shared it with the Greeks at Antioch.
I love the version of v20-21 in the Message Bible
Then some of the men from Cyprus and Cyrene who had come to Antioch started talking to Greeks, giving them the Message of the Master Jesus. God was pleased with what they were doing and put his stamp of approval on it—quite a number of the Greeks believed and turned to the Master.
They started talking… The result was the Greek’s lives changed eternally, the church at Antioch was birthed and discipleship began in earnest.
Lord – where am I going today? Open my eyes to the people around me – Your Kingdom transports lives from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light – who can I be talking to about You today?
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn