Many of us are familiar with the twelve apostles of Jesus, as well as with Saul, later named Paul, who is responsible for writing most of the books in the New Testament. But there great men and women of faith mentioned throughout scripture, and one of them Barnabas, was highly influential when it came to sharing the gospel.
In the New Testament, a man named Barnabas was all about encouragement, so much so that it was his nickname, and it stuck. Scripture tells us that he owned and put the profit from the sale at the apostle’s feet. -Acts 4:36-37-
These attributes of encouragement, support, and generosity would stay with Barnabas. When he saw how Paul has become a fervent follower of Christ, Barnabas took the then-unknown disciple under his wing and introduced him to the other apostles in Jerusalem.
The other apostles were afraid because of Paul past actions, but Barnabas vouched for him, and because of this, the new convert stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. Barnabas encouragement helped move Paul from the sidelines of Christianity and put him into play.
Later passages detail how Barnabas was doing the work of God in Antioch but decided to find Paul so the two could work together for their faith. The church grew steadily under their partnership and their efforts for Jesus netted tremendous results, helping spread the faith far and wide.
Barnabas truly was a “man of encouragement.” He gave life to the church and sacrificed much for the faith. He, along with Paul and other Christian leaders of his time, were instrumental in spreading the gospel across the land and converting great numbers, both Jew and Gentile. Because of others like him, we know Jesus today. We can honor Barnabas by sharing our testimonies and sharing the Good News near and far. Like Barnabas, we can be people of encouragement.