The events of Acts chapter 10 were so challenging to the early church that in the next chapter we see people calling Peter out for his going and eating with Gentiles. He was criticized for reaching a new people group. I have seen this play out in the church over and over again. Once someone starts doing something new to reach people there’s always some well meaning believers there criticizing it.
Peter explains himself. I find it interesting that he didn’t just say “Hey I’m Peter, I preached on the day of pentecost, what have you done?” He took time to defend himself even though they were wrong in their criticism. Today I probably would be tempted to just have some sarcastic retort but Peter patiently explains. At the end of his explanation and retelling of what happened, they stop complain and start praising God. We need to capture that same spirit when explaining ourselves to those who criticize us.
After this the chapter moves on to talk about whats happening due to the persecution of the church. The believers spread everywhere and started preaching to everyone. More and more gentiles were brought into God’s kingdom. They were badly preaching the Word and many people were being saved. Barnabas was sent to Antioch check it out and encourage the believers.
Barnabas was reported to be a good man and full of God’s spirit. He encouraged the believers and the church continues to grow. Paul is brought in by Barnabas to help teach the people. Who am I bringing with me? One of the best ways to encourage and grow people in their gifts is to bring them with you and give them something to do. The church continued to grow their in Antioch and eventually they even sent a large offering to Jerusalem as a relief to a famine coming. Everyone gave as much as they could.