Monday, June 25, 2012


Looking at Apollos’ life the other day brought to mind another non-writer, but fascinating Christian. I had the pleasure of of visiting his home island Cyprus. It is a lovely place, mountains and valleys, almond groves and fishing boats. We aren’t told what brought him to Jerusalem, but we are told he loved the Lord, believed the gospel and we first hear of him having a giving heart:

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet. (Acts 4:36-37 KJV)

This was something the first Christians did as they were of one heart, according to verse 32. We’ve lost that, haven’t we? Not just the sharing in common, but doing it because we are of one heart and one soul.

We see Barnabas next with Paul:

And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. (Acts 9:26-27 KJV)

Here we see Barnabas as a steadfast friend.  He saw Saul boldly speaking the gospel to all who would hear and support his ministry. Just a couple of chapters later, Barnabas was sent to Antioch:

Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. (Acts 11:23-24 KJV)

He was a good steward, too, trusted by the disciples:

Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11:29-30 KJV)

God had plans for Barnabas, too:

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2 KJV)

Their partnership continued, even though it broke over his nephew, John Mark:

And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other:  (Acts 15:39a KJV)

Paul wrote of Barnabas in his letters, so they moved beyond this contention.

Wouldn’t you love a good man filled with the Holy Ghost, having a giving heart, trusted in stewardship, willing to stand up for both a man of God and for his family?  Yes – Barnabas would make a very good friend.  Take time to read more and get to know him. We would do well to be like him.

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