Whilst in Antioch the believers regularly received prophets from Jerusalem (v.27). We read that one by the name of Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine all over the world. This is documented to have happened, with sources outside of the Bible confirming what Agabus said ¹.
In response to this the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief. Every believer gave what they could to the brothers living in Judea.
The giving wasn’t done by a select few, but by every one.
There was no set amount to be given, but everyone gave according to his ability.
Everyone heard about the need and everyone gave.
Although relatively new in the community (v.26b) Saul is trusted, along with Barnabas, to take this offering to Jerusalem. The believers in Antioch were willing to trust their leaders to take their gift to their believing brothers and sisters because they had been told by the Spirit that there was a need.
What a lesson for us. Are we willing to trust the Christian leaders in our lives to handle our Kingdom investments well? Do we even make regular investments in the Kingdom with which to trust our leaders?
There is a strong and recurring truth throughout Scripture that God’s people give back to Him a portion of what He has blessed them with (try Genesis 14.20b, Matthew 23.23, and Revelation 4.10, to cover the big narrative from beginning to end) and the believers here in Antioch certainly fall into that.
The question for you and for me is, do we?