During this time (the year that Barnabus and Paul taught in Antioch) some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11:27-30)
As God did throughout the Old Testament, He sent prophets to build up His followers in Antioch. 1 Corinthians 14:1-4 tells us we should pursue love and the gift of prophecy because those who love and prophesy build up, encourage, and console people and the church. They are great leaders and teachers.
This Scripture tells us about the prophet, Agabus, who predicted a famine that would affect the Jerusalem church. According to early historian, Josephus, that famine occurred in 46 AD. Agabus didn’t tell the Antioch Church how to respond to the upcoming famine. Through the Spirit, they were prompted to give money to their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. They felt so strongly about helping, they sent Paul and Barnabus, their beloved teachers to Jerusalem (a section of Judea).
God often puts people in our lives for a season. He arranges circumstances for people to come into our lives and sometimes leave so that we and they can grow. Antioch still needed guidance, so God sent Agabus and other prophets to replace Paul and Barnabus. He will do the same for us.
Father God, I praise You for giving spiritual gifts. I pray You will help me become like Agabus and fill me with the Holy Spirit, Your love, and the gift of prophecy so I can effectively build up, encourage, console, lead others, and fill a void in someone else’s life in the name of Jesus. I pray in His precious name, amen.