This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 15:32-41. These verses describe the beginning of Paul’s second missionary journey.
Paul’s Second Missionary Journey Begins
¶ "Judas and Silas, prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with many words. After Judas and Silas had spent some time there in Antioch, they were sent back to Jerusalem in peace from the brethren to the apostles —however Silas thought it would be better to stay longer"(Acts 15:32-34).
Judas and Silas. The letter from Jerusalem was reinforced by sending resentatives in person as well. Judas Barsabas, and Silas were chosen to come back with Paul and Barnabas to Syrian Antioch. They spoke directly to the church to counteract the error that the Judeans were teaching.
Sent bact to Jerusalem. When Judas and Silas had completed their task, they were sent back to Jerusalem. However, Silas apparently didn't go back, since he thought it better to stay; and we find him there in Antioch a little later, when Paul sets out on his second missionary journey.
Prophets. Judas and Silas were both prophets. They had received that miraculous spiritual gift that enabled them to speak with direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul discusses the spiritual gifts, including prophecy, in 1Corinthians 12 and following chapters. He regarded prophecy as a higher gift than speaking in tongues (1Corinthians 14:20-33). Judas and Silas would speak with great authority, and their message would be highly respected, because they were spokesmen not only for the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, but for the very Spirit of God himself.
¶ "Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching the gospel, the word of the Lord, with many others also. After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let's return now and visit our brethren in every city where we preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are going.” Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them also. But Paul insisted that they shouldn't take John, because he'd deserted them in Pamphylia, and not gone with them to the work."(Acts 15:35-38).
Barnabas. Barnabas is mentioned several times in Acts. He introduced Paul to the disciples and gained him acceptance among them (Acts 9:26-27). Barnabas is desrcribed as one who "encouraged all to remain in the Lord with resolute heart, for he was a good man, and filled with the Holy Spirit and faith"(Acts 11:22-26). His name was Joseph but the apostles called him Barnabas which means “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36).
Paul plans his second journey. Paul talks over with Barnabas his ideas for a second missionary journey. But there is a disagreement about taking John Mark as a helper, because he'd deserted them on the first journey (Acts 13:13).
¶ "The contention grew so sharp that they separated from each other. Barnabas took John Mark with him, and sailed away to Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and, commended by the brethren to the grace of God, they went out through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches"(Acts 15:39-41).
Barnabas goes with John. Paul had intended to take Barnabas with him on the second journey. However, because of the disagreement over John Mark, Paul chose to take Silas instead. So they began Paul’s second journey with the blessing of the church. Barnabas went his own way with John Mark, not in any attitude of bitterness, but with the intention of encouraging and mentoring John in the ministry.
Traditionally, Paul is said to have made three missionary journeys, plus a fourth journey to Rome. In the Acts Facts series, I have retained this traditional manner of dividing up Paul’s several journeys recorded in the book of Acts. This enables you to more easily relate our studies with other studies, references, and maps, which most likely adhere to the same scheme.
The four journeys of Paul are...
1st missionary journey (Acts 13:4 to 15:35).
2nd missionary journey (Acts 15:36 to 18:22).
3rd missionary journey (Acts 18:23 to 21:17).
Journey to Rome (Acts 27:1 to 28:16).
The first two journeys start and end in Syrian Antioch. The third journey starts in Antioch and ends in Jerusalem. The fourth journey starts in Jerusalem and ends in Rome. See also Paul's trips to Jerusalem.