Bible Reading – Acts 11

Peter Reports to the Church in Jerusalem (11:1-18). As news spread about the Gentiles accepting the message from God, the Jewish believers criticized Peter’s association with uncircumcised men. Peter carefully explained that his actions were a response to God’s will – God had granted to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.

The Church at Antioch (11:19-30). After hearing that many had responded to the good news in Antioch, the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to help. Barnabas eventually went to Tarsus and brought Saul back with him to Antioch (see 9:30). It was here that the disciples were first called Christians (see 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). During this time, Agabus predicted by the Spirit that a severe famine was about to come over the whole world, so the disciples in Antioch sent relief to the brothers living in Judea. They did so by sending their financial aid to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

Practical Lessons: (1) No matter the amount of criticism, we must accomplish God’s wishes (11:1-18). (2) Spirit-filled leaders play a key role in the strengthening of the church (11:19-30).