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Acts 12:25 – Food Shortages in the Kingdom of Jesus

The final verse in this chapter seems out of place: When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem. But it reminds us of the account we were given of the Church in Antioch just prior to the James-Peter-Herod story. Why is it here?

Back in Acts 11:27-30 we were told that Agabus through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. The new Gentile Christians decided, each according to his ability, to provide help for the brothers living in Judea sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

Generous giving had been a Spirit-induced characteristic of the Church in Jerusalem since its early days. The same Spirit is now at work in Gentile Antioch. Both Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians share a family likeness – and consequently the Gentiles send food supplies to their brothers suffering persecution on Judea. At the end of Acts 12 we are reminded of this by the return of Barnabas and Saul having successfully fulfilled their mission. Why?

Because King Herod was unwilling to share his food supplies with the people, he wanted to dominate in Phoenicia. By contrast in the Kingdom of Jesus his followers generously share their feed across ethnic barriers. The Kingdoms of Herod and Jesus are being contrasted. Which is more effective? Which is more powerful? The Kingdom of Jesus shines in the comparison. Let us make sure that is the kingdom we live in!