I left the meeting with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I had gained a powerful weapon with which to squash any who would tell the Gentiles they must be circumcised. In addition to my own authority in the Lord, I could now refer also to the decision of the apostles, if I so wished.
Yet I resisted imposing the holiness codes of Leviticus on the Gentiles, just so that they could eat with those of us who were Jews. Silas, one of the brothers who had attended from Antioch, was also disturbed by the letter James had drafted for the Gentile churches. He was one of those who had stood by me in the controversy with Cephas.
"What do you think of this letter?" he asked me on the journey back.
"The churches to which I minister will never see or hear of it from me," I said with a smile.
"Amen," was Silas' only reply, with a grin on his face as well.
As for Barnabas, I was uncertain. There were still some tensions between us. I believed it was time to follow up with the assemblies God had founded through us in Cyprus and Galatia. The question in my mind was whether this great man of faith was becoming a stumblingblock to the Gentile believers. God had done such great things through him among the Gentiles. It would be a shame for him now to stand in God's way!