Daily Word

First Mission Journey | Acts 13:1-3

1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets [who spoke a new message of God to the people] and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called [a]Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with [b]Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them [in approval and dedication] and sent them away [on their first journey].

Acts 13:1-3 (AMP) 中文

Early church persecuted

Herod Agrippa I the king of the Jews was persecuting the new church. He had James, brother of John, killed with a sword (12:2).  He tried to do the same to Peter but God stepped in and miraculously rescued him from the Roman prison. Then for reasons of pride (and probably opposition to God), God killed Herod.

Prophets and Teachers

Throughout history there have always been prophets and teachers. This continued in the early church. Regarding prophets, the AMP adds the comment, “who spoke a new message of God to the people”. This distinguishes them from what we traditionally think of prophets as predicting the future – which some also do. For more about prophets, read here

And of course there were teachers. Saul (Paul) was becoming the most prominent – especially when we consider he wrote more books (letters) than any other author in the NT. [We note that Luke, the author of Acts, wrote more volume of text – between his Gospel, Luke and Acts.] 

First Missionary Journey

In this text we learn about the first missionary journey of the church. God spoke to this listed group of prophets and teachers to send Baranabas and Saul as their first missionaries. But we must notice the circumstances. They were together fasting and praying. Not for God to call out missionaries. For what? We don’t know exactly, but probably for God to move and work and use them to share the Gospel.

Then, after more fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them (as a blessing) and sent them on their way. They knew with certainty God had called them and would use as well as protect them. “This whole work required a substantial dependence on God, and fasting and prayer demonstrated that dependence….Barnabas and Saul went out without any of these things [the church today relies on], only with the call and power of the Holy Spirit.” (enduringword.com)


  • How do you know if you’re called to missions? Or to some specific, unique, work of God? Keith Green used to emphasize that everyone is called and we should all be engaged in His work, even missions. Depending on your definition of missions, that may be a little exaggerated but, we all have work to do He has prepared in advance for us (Eph 2:10).
  • When you seek the Lord, do you ever consider fasting along with prayer to demonstrate dependence on Him?
Japan Okinawa bridge.

🤞 May I notify you of new posts?

They'll be sent out as soon as new POSTs are created, which has been daily (hence the name) for over 15 years.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content