And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark…..Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 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.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Comment: As Jerusalem was the centre of the Jewish activity for the young church, Antioch seems to be the epicentre from which ministry to the dispersed Jews and to the Gentiles spread out. You will remember that they were first called Christians there. They were seeking the mind and will of God in prayer and fasting. Somehow the Holy Spirit got through to them that there was a special work for Barnabas and Saul (Paul). Initially the two of them with John Mark and a few others set out and the majority of the book of Acts is about how God worked through these men initially as a team but later individually. It certainly seems exciting that the church saw this as a team effort with front line workers and a base to depend upon.
Prayer: Never let me lose a vision for witness and service, My Lord.