But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled.
Comment: Was Paul dead or just at death’s door? We can only guess, but, whatever, they put the trip into reverse and (good on them!), in spite of all the nastiness to them in their journey out they returned back through their nasty experiences, encouraging the new believers. City by city until they arrived back to Antioch in Pisidia. From there they travelled a different route back to Antioch in Syria. They had a need to report, no doubt to be encouraged and guided into further future service. It is hard for us to realize that the Christ whose way had been foretold in Jewish history was now stepping onto the world stage with God’s great plan of salvation offered to people of every tribe and tongue. It was a pivotal time in world history!
Prayer: The job is not completed yet, O Father. Please guide me as to where You want me to serve your eternal purposes.