Acts 14:19-28 (web)

Returning to Strengthen the Brethren

14:19 But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, 
they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 
14:20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. 
On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe. 

14:21 When they had preached the gospel to that city, 
and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 
14:22 confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, 
and that through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God
14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, 
and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed. 
14:24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia. 
14:25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 
14:26 From there they sailed to Antioch,
from where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled. 
14:27 When they had arrived, and had gathered the assembly together, 
they reported all the things that God had done with them, 
and that he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 
14:28 They stayed there with the disciples for a long time. 
 

Comments

vs 19-20 After having been stoned he could have shaken the dust from his feet and left right then. Few would have gone back into the city for fear of further abuse. But Paul saw this as an ideal opportunity to communication conviction. For his action of returning to the city communicated the strength of his convictions and provided an example of the new believers to follow as they would be subject to such hostility. Let us consider also how we may communicate our convictions, not just in word, but in action as Paul had.

vs 21 And so we see Paul now returning to the other cities in which he also experienced hostility. He perseveres in the ministry and outlasts his persecutors.

vs 22 By "through much tribulation" he means "in the midst of much much tribulation". Such tribulation is inevitable for those who wish live a godly life. For he also writes, "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" 2Tim 3:12 And we also see this principle in action throughout the book of Acts.

vs 23 He made sure also to chose elders who would oversee the believers. These were given a greater degree of responsibility and authority for the edification of the church in the discipling of the believers unto maturity. It is unfortunate today that many in such a role become obsessed over their own authority while neglecting their responsibilities and suppress the maturity of those under their care. 

Commending them to the Lord - It is the Lord who ulitimately builds the church,  and Paul wanted them to learn to independently walk by the Spirit, much as a father expects his son to leave the house when he is mature enough and build his own life. 

vs 26-27 They returned to Antioch from where they had been commission for this work by the Holy Spirit. The first stage had been completed in building a bridge to the Gentiles for the gospel to prosper in the West. The door was opened.

vs 28 But they did not quickly return. For this was God's ministry and God would cause growth. 

Mark 4:26-29 

This is what the kingdom is like
A man scattered seed. Then day and night
Whether he sleeps or wakes the seeds sprout and grow
How does this happen? He doesn't know
All by itself grain is produced
But how that can be he can't deduce.
It grows to a stalk, then head and kernel
All by itself by something internal
As soon as the grain is ripe he reaps
Though much of the work had been done while he sleeps
So lets not take credit for more than our share
For God does most of the work. That is clear.
But also this means there's not much that you need
God causes growth if you just plant the seed



The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015