Paul's First Journey
Barnabas was sent to Antioch by the Jerusalem church. “When he arrived [he] saw the grace of God” at work and “he was glad and encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with devoted hearts.” (Acts 11:22-23). He also brought Saul from Tarsus to Antioch where they met with the church and taught large numbers” (Acts 11:26). The Holy Spirit was working in the lives of those in Antioch and the church grew. It was, also, here that the disciples first became known as Christians (Acts 11:26). The Holy Spirit began working through Paul and Barnabas in great ways.
The Holy Spirit told the believers at the church in Antioch to send out Paul and Barnabas to preach the gospel. The church obeyed, and Paul and Barnabas traveled to several cities and all over the island of Cyprus, telling both Jews and Gentiles about Jesus.
Paul, who was once a devoted persecutor of Christians, became a Christian missionary, devoted to obeying God’s call to go and tell others the good news about Jesus. This was Paul’s first missionary journey, and it was not easy. Paul and Barnabas faced rejection in every place that they traveled. Some of the people believed, but some of them were angry. Many people rejected the truth about Jesus. In some places, the Jews made plans to kill Paul. Despite the strong opposition they faced, Paul and Barnabas never softened their message nor abandoned their mission.
Jesus’ followers preached the gospel in Jerusalem, and the good news spread to places like Judea and Samaria. More and more people heard the good news about Jesus and believed. New churches began as both Jews and Gentiles began to follow Jesus. Help your kids see that this mission is still going on today, through your church and churches all over the world, and that they can be a part of this mission.
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Jeremy Carroll (@jermpc) is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to LifeWay, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.