“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. 27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.” Acts 11.25-30
What we find in these final verses in Acts 11 is the beginning workings and the unity of the new disciples carrying forth the mission of the Church and making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Barnabas goes to find Saul in Taurus and together they instruct the local body of believers for over a year. Meanwhile, some prophets come “down from Jerusalem to Antioch,” you always go “down” from the holy city or “up” to it (I learned this from a Jew in Israel.) Agabus makes a prophecy which apparently comes true. The believers, now known as “Christians” help provide food for the “brothers and sisters” living in Judea. This sounds like a first century church staff report!
The operations of the Church is in full swing. People are turning to the faith, the Spirit is speaking to prophets, and believers are helping one another during times of need. This is reminiscent of Acts 4 when all the believers in Jerusalem had everything in common, shared what they possessed, and many were coming to faith daily. What’s going on in Acts 11 is occurring in thousands of church’s presently in our world. This is the work of the gospel — teaching, sharing, witnessing and fellowship.
The “disciple happenings” is what we do as believers. We come together, share God’s word, live according to the Spirit, and love one another. We live as the Body of Christ and act accordingly. We practice what we preach. We live as we are led.
Just as back then, so it is today. The Church is alive and active. Doing good, preaching Christ, living according to the directives of the Spirit in unity by God’s grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for allowing me to walk in your ways. For the example of the church we find in Scripture, to the modern manifestation of your Spirit — make yourself known among us. Come now, Lord Jesus, receive the praise due your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen