徒 Acts 15:36-41
36 过了一些时候，保罗对巴拿巴说：“我们要回到我们传过主道的各城，探望弟兄们，好知道他们的情形怎么样。” 37 巴拿巴有意要带别号马可的约翰一同去， 38 但保罗认为不应带他去，因为他从前在旁非利亚离开过他们，不跟他们一起去作工。 39 他们各持己见，以致彼此分手。巴拿巴带着马可，坐船到塞浦路斯去；40 保罗却选了西拉，众弟兄把他交托在主的恩典中之后，他就出发了。 41 他走遍了叙利亚、基利家，坚固众教会。
36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
First we must note how Paul cared for the churches that he had founded. He was indeed doing useful work at Antioch, but he did not forget that God had ordained him as an apostle, and not as the pastor of one particular place. We know by experience what great influence principal churches have in preserving other, lesser ones. Satan attacks and secretly tries to pull down whole churches or individual believers. That is why Paul was anxious for his disciples, lest they behave in any way other than is to be wished; and if there was any disturbance he wanted to stop it, which he could not do unless he inspected them.
We ought to give more weight to the truth than to all the world’s favor, but we should consider carefully how important is the matter with which we are dealing. In a matter that is not important or edifying, it is mere obstinacy to boast of our own constancy, prepare for conflict, and defend our cause to the end.