30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”
When the council of Jerusalem reached an agreement, they sent a few representatives on tour to proclaim the decision. The entourage had folks from both sides of the controversy and they esteemed one another and showed everyone in the region of Antioch and surrounding areas that they had reached a resolution.
Again we see, like we will over and over in the book of Acts, this pattern of unity in the church, prayer, and then a great work of God.
After they got the validation and encouragement from the other apostles in Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas continued to preach and teach in Antioch.
But hadn’t they already taught enough?
I mean how many times did they have to tell the church in Antioch that Jesus died for their sins?
I’m encouraged by the subtle hints that happen in stuff like this. It was a normal and good part of their life to teach and talk about Jesus over and over again. There were new people coming into the Body of Christ, sure, but they were also “preaching to the choir” every week.
That seems like a normal part of the Christian life. We have to hear these things over and over again. We need to tell one another and we need to hear it from one another.
At the end of this section, even, Barnabas wants to go back and re-preach to all of the places they went before.
The book of Hebrews says the word of God is living and active. That is still true. We can never say about a book of the Bible, “Oh yeah, I already read that,” because every line of scripture is new to our soul every day. We never have to shrug off the telling of a story from the scriptures because every time we hear it, the Holy Spirit is working to impress some part of His life on our soul.
Let us never hold back or get tired of teaching and encouraging one another in the Lord. It is a way for us to continually grow and thrive in our knowledge and friendship with the Lord and each other.