The Apostle Paul returned to Antioch

Paul went back to his home church and stayed there for a while:

  In Acts 14:26-28 we read the following;

…And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. And there they abode long time with the disciples.

Paul returned home to Antioch and resumed a close relationship with his home church, cheering their hearts and encouraging them by reports of the work. His ministry did not cease once he arrived back home. The missionary ought not to seek merely to bless his target people “over there.” He should seek to bless the “home folks” as well.

Some literature speaks of Paul returning to Antioch in order to “report back” to his authority, but I think this misses the point. Paul wasn’t merely dutifully reporting to his boss; instead, he was celebrating with family! He rejoiced with the church, stayed with them for quite some time, resumed his old teaching and leadership duties, and even engaged in deep theological controversy with the Judaizers in the very next chapter.

Paul wanted to celebrate with his Antiochan family because the missionary task is not a “one man show.” This was their mutual work.

Missions is a state of total war; not all go far away to fight, but all labor on behalf of the war effort.

 What a pleasure when beautiful feet which bring glad tidings of good things have their origin in your local churches and are shod by the loving care of your own people!