Unit 31, Session 2: Barnabas in Antioch
In the face of persecution, the early church saw growth as believers dispersed following Stephen’s death. (See Acts 7.) As they went, they carried the good news with them. Jesus’ disciples had cared for the church from Jerusalem, but God began to call them out as missionaries too.
In Acts 8, Philip went to Samaria and Judea. The Holy Spirit led him to share the good news with an Ethiopian official. Paul encountered Jesus in Acts 9 and began spreading the gospel. Peter performed miracles and people believed in Jesus. In Acts 10, God made it clear to Peter that the gospel was not only for the Jews but also for Gentiles. Peter gave testimony about the salvation of Gentiles to Jewish leaders in Jerusalem who thought people needed to follow Jewish law to be saved.
As the message about Jesus went out, churches were started. One of these churches was in Antioch, which was the capital of Syria. When the church at Antioch began, it was made up only of Jewish Christians. But, as Acts 11:20 reveals, some Christians from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch and began sharing the gospel with Greeks (Gentiles). Many Gentiles believed.
When the church in Jerusalem heard about this, what was their response? They sent Barnabas to Antioch to encourage the believers there! Then even more people believed in Jesus. The Bible tells us that Antioch was the place where believers were first called “Christians.”
Barnabas went to Antioch to encourage believers. Even though some people tried to stop it, the gospel spread throughout the earth—not only to Jews but also to Gentiles. The good news about Jesus is for everyone. God calls us to celebrate when others believe and help them know and love Jesus more.
Barnabas in Antioch
Even though some people tried to stop it, the gospel spread throughout the earth—not only to Jews but also to Gentiles. The good news about Jesus is for everyone. God calls us to celebrate when others believe and help them know and love Jesus more.
Family Discussion Questions
- Who are some people that encourage you?
- Who might need encouragement from you this week?
- How can you encourage that person?
- How does the gospel spread?
- How should we respond when people put their trust in Jesus?
Words of Encouragment
-Instruct the kids to sit in a circle.
-Select a kid to start the game by saying something encouraging about the kid to his left.
-Play will pass to the right.
"In our story today we will learn about a man named Joseph, who the apostles called Barnabas. His nickname means “son of encouragement.” Why do you think people called him that? Today we will learn about a time he traveled to Antioch to tell people about Jesus."
Have your child(ren) write encouraging notes/emails to their teacher. Teachers have had a really tough job this school, so take some time to encourage them and pray for them.