Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also.
Thoughts for Today:In the Book of Acts there are five definite and separately recorded incidents of Paul's visits to Jerusalem. The first visit was about three years after his conversion (Acts 9:26-30); second, to provide famine relief (Acts 11:27-30); third, to attend the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:1-30); fourth, at the end of his third missionary trip (Acts 18:22); and fifth, the visit that ultimately ended in Paul's imprisonment and trial (Acts 21:15-35).
Based on the sequence of events Paul has been describing, it appears this was the second of his five trips to Jerusalem. The following is a brief synopsis of Paul's history (post-conversion) up to the time he references in our passage today: He spent three years in the desert being taught by Jesus; fifteen days in Jerusalem primarily with Peter and James (his first trip); and then traveled to Syria, Cicilia, and back to his hometown of Tarsus where he spent the next eleven years.
It was at this time that Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for his old friend Saul (Paul) to bring him back into ministry (Acts 11:25-26): "Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." After serving the Lord together in Antioch, Paul and Barnabas traveled to Jerusalem and took Titus with them. Their purpose in going? To serve in another way -- this time by bringing a gift of support to the brothers and sisters living in Judea who had been affected by a severe famine.
Questions to Ponder:Many times we need a Barnabas in our life to help us re-engage in ministry. However, we still must respond. Has someone asked you recently to serve with them in some way? What was your response? Has your walk become a little stale lately? Perhaps God has sent someone to help re-invigorate your passion.