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Have you ever made plans and find that they quickly come to an abrupt halt and are driven to go in another direction?
This past week I was able to take in a quick course and during the discussion we talked about change and what happens when change is thrust upon us.
The discussion lead to the fact that the change is the event and what follows is the emotion and results that happen after the event.
This mornings text, although is a description of Paul’s second missionary journey it is much more.
Paul constantly faced changes in this missionary journey.
This morning as we look through the text, I hope to give you one pattern of how we seek direction and fulfill God’s will for our lives as we hear and watch the journey that Paul went through.
As with all journey’s there is preparation.
I have handed out a copy of a map for you to follow along with the scripture this morning.
It is a road map of the scriptures we will be reading.
If you are looking at this map and are attempting to see how it fits into today’s world, the majority of Paul’s second missionary journey would be through modern day Turkey.
The journey begins at the bottom right hand corner of the map, Jerusalem.
Preparation for the Journey
Last week we talked about the council meeting and this is where we left of Paul, who is in Jerusalem.
This marks the first part of the journey.
The purpose of the journey was to spread the Gospel throughout the ancient world and to share the letter from the council to the Jewish believers.
The group of people made their way to Anticoch, then shared the news contained in the letter and Paul and Barnabas stay for a while preaching to the folks.
One thing you will find out about Paul is that he was a church planter.
He had a passion to spread the news of Christ far and wide and to establish churches throughout the land.
This was a calling upon his life was so driven that they began to make plans to form another missionary journey, his second.
Assembling the team
The plan was set and in motion so Paul and Barnabas began to develop and assemble the team.
Have you ever been responsible to put together a team?
In some of my ministries, I have fallen back on the 3 C of a team.
They may not be a perfect way to discern the team, but I am sure if we read this text, I believe that Paul and Barnabas would be following a similar model
Character, Competency, Chemistry are the three parts when putting together a team.
Let’s read the account.
How to handle conflict
Picking team members.
I always had moments of dread when we were kids on the playground.
You know what I am talking about.
A group of children gather together to have a game whether it is baseball, football, or soccer, teams need to be picked.
First thing.
Pick the captains.
Then one by one each captain picks whom he or she believes would be best for their team.
Why did I dread this?
I’m not sure about you, but I don’t remember being picked as the captain.
I do remember that often I wasn’t the first picked player, in fact, with the lack of skill as a child, I was often near the end of the roster.
I could go on and on about my in-competencies of a child athlete, but this is not about me.
Its about picking a team.
Maybe some of you can relate or not.
Maybe you were always the captain.....
But in any case you can imagine the scene, but you say, that was children.
Well look at the text.
Who were the captains?
Paul & Barnabas
In fact at this point they were on the same team- Co Captains.
Competency- Paul did not want Mark to come because of the lack of competency.
He was at one time responsible for being a part of the group that was challenging Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles.
Character- Paul did not want a person on his team that wasn’t 100% behind his calling.
Barnabas wanted him because of his character.
He saw something in him, that at this point Paul didn’t see.
He had chemistry with him as a cousin.
They would have known each other all their lives.
A sharp disagreement arose.
Paul & Barnabas- had words.
Sharp words.
The two men who where full of the Spirit, driven to do God’s work were divided over who would be on the team.
One person put it this way,
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 9: John and Acts (2.
Disagreement and Two Missionary Teams (15:36–41))
The fact that Luke does not gloss over the quarrel between Paul and Barnabas shows his honesty.
The Greek word for “disagreement” (paroxysmos) is so neutral as not to touch upon the question of responsibility, and it is idle for us to try to apportion blame.
Yet far from letting the disagreement harm the outreach of the gospel, God providentially used it to double the missionary force, with Barnabas taking Mark and returning to Cyprus (cf.
The team has been set,
Paul and Barnabas set off in different direction and this leads us to the text that we will be focusing in on this morning.
Turn with to Acts chapter 16 and lets’ read the first few verses.
Remember to keep the map in front of you
Developing the Next Generation
It is this moment in the story that we are introduced into the relationship that developed over the years.
Paul and Timothy.
Paul saw something “Character”, and the “Chemistry” between the two and over the years their relationship grew.
It also set in motion something that is important or at least should be important in all of our lives.
Are you looking for a Timothy in your life, your ministry?
Are you looking around you, someone that God is placing in your life that you will bring along in the faith.
So I ask you again, Is there a Timothy in your life?
For the ladies in the room, is there a Trish in your life.
Read through Titus and Paul tells us again the importance of Men and Women having a Timothy and Trish in our lives.
So Paul found him and brought him into his circle.
Cultural Adaptations
Now if you are reading along and are wondering about the actions of Paul in verse 3 you are not alone.
You may be wondering why would Paul have to circumcise him.
There is a cultural adaptation that was happening in this scene.
Paul was well aware that circumcision had nothing to do with the faith, but it was an identification of who Timothy was, who his mother was, Jewish.
Timothy’s mother was a Jew growing up in the outlaying land and married a greek man.
The faith of the mother was to have her son circumcised, but the Jewish custom would fall to the wishes of the father.
The Jewish people were not as strong in this area and did not stand up to the Greek customs and Timothy needed to be circumcised.
Scholars believe that Paul circumcised him for a couple of reasons.
He was Jewish in faith from the strength of the maternal faith, both in his mother and grandmother.
They believe that He was standing up for the customs of his lineage and not that of the need for salvation.
2. Timothy will be travelling with him and to the communities of Jewish and Gentile believers.
As for Timothy, because of his Jewish mother, he was a Jew in the eyes of the Jewish world.
Therefore, it was both proper and expedient for Paul to circumcise him.
As Paul saw it, being a good Christian did not mean being a bad Jew.
Rather, it meant being a fulfilled Jew
In fact as one person puts it
The circumcision of Timothy shows us something else.
Paul did not disregard the Law of Moses and repeatedly in his ministry in succeeding years showed his faithfulness to customs and traditions.
Though they were not required before faith or justification, they could be helpful expressions of that faith.
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