And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul…
The unstable multitude open to rapid changes of feeling. "Hosanna! to day; Crucify him!" to-morrow. Paul's miraculous escape a great help to the faith of disciples. Possibly his suffering a reason for speedy return to Antioch.
I. THE EXPERIENCE OF THE FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY A PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE.
1. The necessity of patience.
2. The importance of making the work thorough and confirming the weak.
3. The relation of aggressive work to orderly Church life. Both in the new Churches elders appointed, and at Antioch all rehearsed.
II. The preciousness of RISING FAITH REQUIRES A JEALOUS WATCHFULNESS, even at the risk of personal suffering. It was dangerous for Paul and Barnabas to visit the same places again, but "the souls of the disciples" were more in their eyes than their own comfort or even safety.
1. True confirmation is a recognition of present grace.
2. The experience of the more advanced should help the new converts and the young. The Church has ranch neglected this duty.
3. Trouble must always attend faith. The blessings which we care not to fight for we shall soon lose.
4. The appointment of superintending elders is apostolic. They were doubtless from among the new Churches themselves, but chosen with discretion and in dependence on the blessing of God. All done with prayer and self-denial. The presence of the Lord the one true sanction.
III. THE REHEARSAL OF SPIRITUAL SUCCESSES a great encouragement to God's people.
1. In the gathered Church, not merely in private; for the Church is the true center from which all proceeds and to which all is brought.
2. The true missionary work is that which the Church maintains in its united capacity. Individual and isolated efforts are not so likely to be blessed.
3. The special importance of the mission of Paul and Barnabas in showing the open door of faith to the Gentiles. Such a fact could not have wielded the same influence had it not been rehearsed thus solemnly to the assembled brethren. Antioch was now the pledged source of light to the Gentile world. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.