Skip to main content

Barnabas, The Apostle of Encouragement


Who was Barnabas?

  • Son of Encouragement
  • An Apostle in the Earlier Church - To the Gentiles, just like Paul
  • Seeker of the Rejected
  • Giver of Self and Possessions
  • Passionate for People's Prosperity (Spiritually, Physically, Financially)
  • Prone to a fault to avoid conflict...
  • Passionate to the point of conflict to protect and help another grow. 

Introduction to Barnabas:

Barnabas is one of the more interesting side characters the New Testament. He often overlooked because he is always seen as he interacts with the other Apostles, primarily Peter and Paul. However, Barnabas is an interesting character in and of himself. As I took to study him, there was much more written about him than I had before realized.

Barnabas has been believed by some to have been the rich young man that came to Jesus and was told to "sell what you have give to the poor, and follow Me..." (Matt 19:21, Luke 18:22, and Mark 10:21) A few interesting articles were written to that affect, (Harry W, and  Latter Rain were two I found in a quick search).

From the bible we can learn much about him. His name was Joses/Joseph and was renamed by the Apostles much the same way Simon was renamed Peter - The Rock (Hebrew: Petros)(Greek/Aramaic: Cephas) by Jesus. The Apostles renamed Joseph: Barnabas (Son of Encouragement). Indeed he was, his whole story, throughout the NT reveals a man who's core calling and passion in life is to develop others. He nearly fades into the background, despite the prominence of his name in Acts, because he's always found in conjunction with what he was doing with or for someone else.

The Giver

He started a giving spree in the the early church that caused a spirit of one-ness to take over the church. No-one lacked because of his giving. His giving was so notorious that one couple tried to copy it to gain fame, but also lied in the process about what they were doing. The very thing that promoted Barnabas killed that couple, because they did it in the wrong spirit. He was the living example of "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time." (1 Peter 5:6)

The Apostle

When his time among the Apostles has become complete he joined Paul and his calling was, like Paul, to the gentiles where as the Apostles (Peter, James, and John) were called to the Jews. Barnabas and Paul were both separated out as Apostles later, debunking the weird idea that only those original 11/12 could be Apostles.
Acts 4:36
And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus...

Acts 4
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. 36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Galatians 2:9
...and when James, Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised (Jews).

Acts 13:2
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

Acts 14:14
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this...
Encourager

Barnabas was the Son of Encouragement. He was always encouraging people. He was also passionate about his belief. He was so passionate about people and helping them achieve the God given gifting inside of them, that he would fight for them.

Protector, Encourager, Developer, and Cousin to Mark

Barnabas was the one to push past the opinions of the church people and brought Saul/Paul to the Apostles. It was the testimony of Paul, through the words of Barnabas that brought him to be accepted as genuine among the Christians. Barnabas was the one who fought with Paul to take John-Mark (Barnabas' Cousin). Paul was ready to leave him behind because he'd already abandoned them once, but GRACE and MERCY work through Barnabas in amazing ways.

He is always ready to extend another chance to the person who needs it. It was through this type of constant encouragement and working with Mark that Paul, years later, stated that Mark was useful to him in the ministry. Later, Mark went on to write one of the four Gospels in our NT today. That means that Mark who was quick to abandon the Apostles in a hard time when he was young, later became so able to hear from the Holy Spirit that his writing was Canonized as The Word of God. 

GRACE Preacher

He was so passionate about the GRACE of God that he and Paul challenged the Jewish Christians who came, in Acts 15, to try to put the gentiles under the law again. He took the debate all they way to the Peter, James, and John.

Acts 15:2
Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them...
Acts 15:39
Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus...
2 Timothy 4:11 
(Paul says) Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
Seeker of the Lost, Hurting, and/or Rejected

Barnabas not only encouraged others development, but he sought out Saul/Paul. Barnabas type encouragement seeks out the lost, hurting, and/or rejected to strengthen them and bring them up. It may be said that without Barnabas we would not have Paul, 3/4 of the NT, or the Gospel of Mark. At least, he had a major hand in the process and shares in the rewards of it. 
Acts 11:25
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.

Acts 9:27
But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Acts 12:25
And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.

Acts 15:39
Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus;

Colossians 4:10
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him),
When a Strength becomes a weakness: 
Following Peter to Hypocrisy

He was so proned to encouragement that he was always trying to avoid conflict. When his passion was strong enough he would fight for what's right. He split with the Jews over forcing the Law onto the gentiles, he split with Paul over his cousin Mark. But he loved people, and didn't want conflict, it wasn't his primary characteristic. 

So when Peter has led the group in hypocrisy by eating at separate tables from the Gentile Christians when a certain group of Jewish Christians who still wanted the law would come to visit, Barnabas got caught up in the activity because he didn't want to cause a stir. 
Galatians 2:13
And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
Conclusion
Barnabas was indeed an interesting Character to study. This is, of course, nothing more than a high level overview. There are so many things I read that I didn't cover here. Maybe he would make an interesting book, or long study. 

He was a giver, to the point that he started a giving spree. He was encourager to the point it became his name. He embodied Grace and Mercy. He was a seeker of the rejected. He had a ministry of reconciliation.  He someone who we need to look at. 



I call you empowered 2 prosper with good success!

Darrell G. Wolfe

See Also:
Book Suggestion from the N2 Good Success Amazon Store
Product Offerings from N2 Good Success Zazzle Store

Bulldog Publications: 

Comments

Sign Up

Consider Supporting This Site: Become a Patron! Sign Up so you don't miss a post:

Special Delivery

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Powered by MailChimp

Darrell's Reading List


Here are some books I've been reading lately:
  • Hacker: The Outlaw Chronicles (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). The story of a young Hacker girl, who went on a wild adventure into the supernatural realm beyond trying to save her mom, but saved her self too in the process.
  • Saint: A Paradise Novel (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). He's an assassin, or is he? He finds a secret to his past that unlocks supernatural abilities, at a cost.
  • For a full list of all my book suggestions, see my Amazon Store.

Popular posts from this blog

Writing Craft: Getting UnStuck

Getting UnStuck - Story Structure Guiding The Path It quite common, especially for Pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants with no real outline or plan ahead of time), to get stuck in your story. At some point, we hit a roadblock, writer's block, and can't think of what the story should be next.

Story Structure Clues

This is, in part, because we don't start with the outline that the stricture Outliners do. We can't even comprehend where the story will be going in order to outline.

However, if we have an idea of the path (the skeleton of the structure), we can start to see a way through the hazy fog of the future. But even then, we can get stuck like I did last night.

I'd written my way through and just couldn't imagine what needed to happen next. I know where the next major plot point is going to be and what (generally) will happen (Destiny is caught by the FBI but Ash escapes). But it's way to early to write that in the story timeline. If I wr…

The W Story Structure - 4 Sequence Story Structure

Out of everything I've ever read on story structure for fiction writing, the W-Story Structure makes the most sense to me. If you'd rather view these as Acts (3-Act or 4-Act) you can overlay that on this W and it still works.



Glen C. Strathy writes (in much more detail here) in his article, The W-Plot vs. The Dramatica Model of Story Structure. There are four sequences for most stories. Each of the four legs of the W is comprised of a sequence of events that lead the story along to it's natural conclusion.

Sequence 1: setting up the problem (creating tension)Sequence 2: recovering from the problem (new ideas, positive momentum)Sequence 3: deepening of the problemSequence 4: the resolution of the problem (new light or understanding)

Sequence 1: setting up the problem (creating tension)
The Inciting Event (the event that is at the heart of the reason this story happened) may have occurred before your story begins, and often does. In King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), th…

The Future of Work: Is being a writer (artist, musician, creative) an impractical career?

In a writers group on Facebook, a young writer asked (edited):
How do you respond to family members saying that being a writer is impractical? This is a great question. When I was going to college I stopped pursuing music and theater because it didn't seem to lead to a "practical career". I got bogged down in other things and eventually dropped out (after six years and 78 units). But times are changing and we're in a new type of revolution.

So, what do you think?
What is the future of work? How would you respond?
What is impractical, what does that even mean?First, you reply:
You said 'impractical' when I think you meant 'I'm Practical'. The root of Impractical is Practical, or to be "not-practical". The word practical is derived from the root word PRACTICE.
practicale "of or pertaining to matters of practice; applied,"  All careers require a great deal of practice, hard work, study of the chosen field, and many small wins before th…

Writing Craft: Show / Don't Tell

Lessons I've learned about writing...

In the world of creative writing, no phrase or lesson is more repeated than the famous:
Show Don't Tell What does that mean, exactly? It means don't give me a fact but show it to me. Let the actions of the character tell me he's nervous. Let the characters actions and motives be so tied to the setting, that they direct what details I get to see.


Read this:

Dr. Briar sat nervously on a hand-made leather chair with mahogany inlays. 
Now read this:

Dr. Briar sat fidgeting in a hand-made leather chair, rotating his middle finger around on the mahogany inlays. 
What's different?

Dr. Briar sat nervously on a hand-made leather chair with mahogany inlays.  Dr. Briar sat fidgeting in a hand-made leather chair, rotating his middle finger around on the mahogany inlays. 
We show him fidgeting and rotating his finger, this gives us more reason to talk about the inlays. But could this be better? Sure, there are a thousand ways to write this sent…

Writing Prompt | Room and Bored

At the Heart Writers group meeting tonight, led by Lauren Stinton, we did a short writing prompt.

You have seven minutes to write (fiction or nonfiction) and it must include these three items/themes:

Jesus is Lord of allPrincessCat
Here is my result, with a bit of post-meeting editing and addition. Keep in mind, I wrote it in OneNote on my phone...

*** Room and Bored The light amplified through the double glass window pane, despite the clawed dusty drapes, warming Princess' furry belly. She was Queen of this castle and she held the honor with dignity.

Her human was a good servant. He brought her food at the appointed time. He changed her box. He performed his part admirably.

Then her life shattered.

Her human walked in the front door and laid a box on the table. "Princess, I have a surprise for you, " He said.

She rolled off the couch back and sauntered over. The pawed the box. It moved. She jumped back, "Moew," she cried.

A soft rumble came from the box.

Her hu…

Archive

Show more

Other sites I follow: