vv 4-5. So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. John Mark went with them as their assistant.
Initially it was Barnabas who set the pace. In Acts 9, soon after Paul’s conversion, it was Barnabas who introduced Paul to the other disciples when they were afraid of him. We read ‘When Saul (Paul) arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.’ Paul’s mentor and guide was Barnabas, so it is not surprising they were sent out as a team. It was probably Barnabas who invited John Mark (who later wrote Mark’s Gospel) to join them – after all, they were cousins it seems. (See Colossians 4:10) Later on, it was Paul who took the lead, but it was a united team that set out on this first missionary journey. The blunt fact is that teamwork is better and more productive than solo efforts. The support and encouragement that each can give the other is invaluable.