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.” Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. (Acts 15:36 – 16:5)
Following the disagreement, this time there were two teams sent out by the Antioch Church. Barnabas, who was an encourager of young believers (see Acts 4:36 and 9:27), took Mark with him to his native country (Acts 4:36) of Cyprus. Under his care Mark would become a useful servant of the gospel, and even receive praise from Paul one day.
Paul with Silas visited churches in Syria and Cilicia taking with them the letter from Jerusalem, and then going on to revisit Derbe and Lystra (Acts 14:6). At Lystra lived the young man Timothy who would become an important church leader in days to come.
Silas was well chosen as a brave and hardy companion for Paul, a gospel soldier as it were. The story of their campaign with its achievements and difficulties is told in Chapters 16 and 17; so keep on reading!
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