“Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.”
King James Version (KJV)
11:20 Some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene - Who were more accustomed to converse with the Gentiles. Who coming into Antioch - Then the capital of Syria, and, next to Rome and Alexandria, the most considerable city of the empire. Spake to the Greeks - As the Greeks were the most celebrated of the Gentile nations near Judea, the Jews called all the Gentiles by that name. Here we have the first account of the preaching the Gospel to the idolatrous Gentiles. All those to whom it had been preached before, did at least worship one God, the God of Israel.
11:21 And the hand of the Lord - That is, the power of his Spirit.
Ac 11:22-24 Sent forth Barnabas. Barnabas was himself a Grecian Jew, also the friend of Saul, another Grecian Jew (Ac 4:36 9:27). He was chosen as a suitable man to go to Antioch and see whether there had been a real work of the Lord. When he had seen that it was "the grace of the Lord" (Ac 11:23), he rejoiced and gave it Godspeed, and the work grew more and more in this great metropolis. Antioch. Note that this is the first church named outside the bounds of Palestine. It was to become the great missionary center for the conversion of the Gentile world (Ac 13:1-3).