Last Sunday at New Hope Church, Dave preached about “A Guy Named Joe:” Joseph, a man better known by his nickname, Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement” and was given to him by the apostles (Acts 4:36).
Think about the impact this guy had. Upon hearing of Saul’s conversion, he found the new convert named Paul and was instrumental in helping the apostles see that the conversion of this former persecutor was genuine (Acts 9:27). He also went to bat for John Mark, leading to such sharp disagreement with Paul that the two went their separate ways (Acts 15:36-40). Yet years later, Paul called for John Mark, acknowledging that he would be helpful to the ministry (II Timothy 4:11).
What if Joe — Barnabas — had not encouraged or supported either of these men at significant points in their lives? Mark, of course, wrote his account of the Gospel, while Paul wrote 13 letters that comprise nearly half of the New Testament! Barnabas never wrote a book in our Bible, yet he had untold influence and impact as he brought many others to maturity in their faith.
Who has been a Barnabas in your life, and who can you encourage today?