Chapter 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Chapter 14:24 They passed through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia,
Chapter 14:25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
Chapter 14:26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had bee commended to the grace of God for the work that had been accomplished.
Chapter 14:27 When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
Chapter 14:28 And they spent a long time with the disciples.
The word here in verse 23 has been interpreted as ordained in some versions of the Bible, but the word appointed here simply means that the church elected, appointed or designated those who were to be elders in each individual church. Each of these elders had a tremendous responsibility in decision-making for these churches. It is no wonder that these men were required to be men of strong character, high morals and spiritual wisdom. Paul and Barnabas may have thought that this may be the last time that they may see these new Christians. They left each church in the hands of God and led by Spirit-filled men.
We see in verse 27 that Paul and Barnabas had begun this missionary journey in Antioch and now they were returning and we have seen that it had been fruitful but yet hazardous. The question that each of us as Christians must answer is that have we let God down in evangelizing to the heathens and are people in hell because we have failed to respond to Christ’s commission. Notice in verse 28, Paul and Barnabas do not just share about the number of souls that were saved, but also the trials, tribulations and persecutions. I am sure there was much rejoicing in the church at Antioch that day due to the fervent prayers and the laying on of hands on Paul and Barnabas.
In verse 28, we are not sure how long they stayed but most Bible scholars believed that these events occurred in approximately 45 or 46 A.D. and the council in Jerusalem met in 51 or 53 A.D., then there would have been an interval of five to eight years. In finishing this chapter, most Christians that read this will have no concept of the persecution that these men went through. I pray that each one of us will go out today and be bold for the cause of Christ.