26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. – Acts 9: 26-27
We are social creatures. Some of us more than others, but I believe we were always meant to be in community. The first disciples of Jesus were all about community. They realised they needed each other, even when they had differences of opinion, their love of God and love for each other (community) always seemed to win out.
Saul had arrested and persecuted some of them, now, after an encounter with Jesus, he becomes one of them. It’s an astonishing turn of events. He would go on to be renamed Paul, and become one the greatest known missionaries of all time, as many of his letters make up a chunk of the New Testament in the Bible.
Yet, if it wasn’t for a friend of Paul’s named Barnabas, we might never have known who Paul was. Barnabas was the first to stick up for him, vouch for him, and was one of his travelling missionary partners.
Actually, Barnabas birth name was Joseph. He was renamed Barnabas because it means “son of encouragement”.
My take away this morning is that we all need a Barnabas in our lives. Also, we are called to be like Barnabas for others.
So my questions are this:
- Who is your Barnabas?
- Who has the Lord put in your life that you are called to be a Barnabas to them?
Prayer: Lord, you have put so many people in my life who have encouraged and supported me. Thank you. Let me do the same for others. Show me today who could use some encouragement or support. Amen.
Bonus Video You’ve Got a Friend in me adorable version: