Taking pretty much the same route, albeit in reverse and minus Cyprus, that we saw in chapters thirteen and fourteen Paul and Barnabas sailed to Antioch (vv.24-25). Returning to their home church (13.1) Paul and Barnabas are commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled so far. Imagine the tales that they had to tell and the reports they had to give:
“The trip was a great success, though not without great obstacles: The difficulty of travel itself, the confrontation with Elymas on Cyprus, the quitting of John Mark, being driven out of the cities of Antioch and Iconium, the temptation to receive adoration, and being stoned in Lystra”.
What perseverance, what endurance, and what provision they could speak of that God had worked through them. We then read they they remained no little time with the disciples. No matter what is going on in the wider world there is always work to do at home.
Do you think Paul and Barnabas returned to their home church and ‘checked out’ for a while?
Do you think they took a sabbatical and went fishing, hiking, and caught up on some sleep?
There is always work to do right where you are.
There are people that need encouraging and teaching.
There are Scriptures to explain and prayers to pray.
There is time to spend and energy to invest.
No, you might not be called of God to travel and teach and evangelise and proselytise but there will always be opportunity for you to spend no little time with the disciples right where you are. Sometimes we need to adjust our gaze from afar to right where we are.