A long time
“And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.”
How long was a long time? Some say up to five years based on the fact that the journey ends around AD46 and the Council of Jerusalem starts in AD51.
What we do know is that during this time Paul learnt of a group of Jewish believers who had infiltrated the new Christians in South Galatia and began to undo the truth of the gospel. Therefore Paul wrote his first letter to his churches, to the Galatians.
Luke says they spent time with the disciples meaning they strengthened them and taught them.
But what is also probable is that Paul continued preaching in the region and with that came more suffering for the gospel. He would write in 1 Corinthians 11: 24-27 “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”
Luke doesn’t write about these moments anywhere. Guess where these events took place? In the time frame of verse 28, the 5 year silent years.
Five unrecorded years and which can be easily overlooked and yet they contained so much.
First glances can overlook really important facts and detail. We need to be careful what we skim over.