Memory Text: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city”, (Acts 18:9-10, NIV).
Back in Antioch, Paul and Barnabas nurtured the church and engaged in further evangelistic work. This was seemingly the last time they worked together, as a sharp disagreement led to their separation. The reason for Paul and Barnabas’s disagreement was Mark, Barnabas’s cousin (Col. 4:10). When Paul invited Barnabas to return to the places they had evangelized in their previous journey, Barnabas wanted to take his cousin along, but Paul was against it because of Mark’s past failure (Acts 13:13). Paul and Barnabas’s separation, however, was turned into a blessing, because in dividing their efforts they could cover a wider area than they had first planned. Barnabas took Mark and returned to Cyprus, Barnabas’s homeland (Acts 4:36). Meanwhile, having invited Silas to join him, Paul went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there. Before coming to Antioch the first time, Paul had spent several years in Tarsus (Acts 9:30; Acts 11:25-26). Now he had the opportunity to revisit the congregations he had established there. Nevertheless, God’s plan for him was much greater than Paul first conceived.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 1.