Antioch’s Gentile mission came to the attention of the Jerusalem church, which sent Barnabas to check it out. Barnabas quickly determined its authenticity and joined in the outreach himself. He remembered Paul, who was himself a Greek-speaking Jew of the Dispersion, one who would be particularly suited for a ministry to Gentiles. Barnabas went to Tarsus, found Paul, and brought him to Antioch. There the two witnessed for a whole year. The Antioch outreach prepared the two for their own mission to the Gentiles, which they would soon undertake.
Verses 27–30 relate a special project undertaken by the Antioch church. Agabus, a Christian prophet from Jerusalem, predicted that a severe famine would soon occur throughout the Roman Empire. A major famine did indeed occur at that time, during the reign of Claudius. The Antioch Christians saved up and assisted the Judean churches when the famine struck. Paul and Barnabas administered the offering. It served as a pattern for Paul, who would later undertake a major collection from his Gentile congregations for the Judean Christians.