first mention of Barnabas occurs in Acts 4. The believers were in one
heart and mind. Needs were met because believers shared their resources.
From time to time people who owned houses or land sold them and brought
the money to the apostles who distributed to those in need. One man in
particular, Joseph a Levite from Cyprus, sold some land and brought the
money to the apostles. The apostles called Joseph "Barnabas"
which means ‘Son of Encouragement" NKJV.
next mention of Barnabas occurs in Acts 9. After Saul of Tarsus was
converted he began preaching Jesus in the synagogues. When the Jews at
Damascus conspired to kill him the disciples there saved his life by
lowering him over the city wall in a basket. After reaching Jerusalem
Saul tried to join the disciples but they were afraid of him not
believing that he really was a disciple. Fortunately Barnabas was there
and took him to the apostles and told them of Saul’s conversion and
how that in Damascus he had boldly preached in the name of Jesus. It was
Barnabas who got Saul introduced to the officials (heads) of the church.
11 records where those who scattered because of the persecution of
Stephen traveled to Antioch and preached and many believed. When the
news of this revival reached the Jerusalem church they sent Barnabas to
Antioch. Many good qualities regarding Barnabas are mentioned here. When
he saw evidence of the grace of God he was glad and encouraged them
rather than put a damper on a new kind of church where Jews and Greeks
worshipped together. Also he was a good man full of the Holy Ghost and
of faith and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. It is
also very interesting that Barnabas left Antioch and went to Tarsus to
find Saul in order to bring Saul to Antioch. For a whole year Barnabas
and Saul taught the church of Antioch. It was Barnabas who gave Saul his
first opportunity to start his ministry. Why would Barnabas share his
successful ministry at Antioch with one who was destined to have a far
greater ministry? I think Barnabas realized it is the kingdom of God and
not the kingdom of Barnabas.
not only helped Saul get started but also took his relative John Mark on
the first missionary journey, Acts 13. I am aware that John Mark left
them at Perga and returned to Jerusalem. When Barnabas wanted to take
John Mark along again on the second missionary journey the contention
between Paul and Barnabas was so strong that they split. Paul chose
Silas and left. Without question the church needed Paul the great
apostle to the Gentiles and writer of most of the books of the New
Testament. But Mark needed an encourager in the person of Barnabas. If
it had not been for Barnabas we might not have the gospel according to
Mark. Even Paul at the end of his ministry wrote Timothy to bring Mark
"for he is profitable to me in the ministry," II Timothy 4:11.
church today needs men like Barnabas. Men who are generous not only with
their finances but also their time. Men who see a young man not just as
he is but what he can become in the Lord. Men who are patient and
willing to give a young man a start in the ministry and in some cases
even give them a second chance.
have been involved in Bible College work for many years. With regard to
the training of ministers, I am fully convinced that there are some
things that a Bible College can do that the local church usually cannot
do. This includes a systematic study of the bible, church history, etc.
Also students have the opportunity to meet and relate with other
students from different backgrounds thus broadening their experiences.
However, I am also fully convinced that the church can do many things
that our Bible Colleges are not equipped to do. This would include
"on the job" training such as hospital visitation, experience
in funerals and weddings, conducting services, leadership training, etc.
There needs to be greater cooperation between the Bible colleges and the
church in the training of young ministers. Years ago one of the Bible
Colleges had the students attend Bible College for the first three years
and then serve the fourth year as an intern in a local church under the
direction of an experienced minister. Whether there is a formal or
informal internship there needs to be more men like Barnabas who will
help young ministers graduating from Bible College get started in the
ministry. These young men need mentors. Are you willing to give a lot of
your time to properly and fully train a young minister.
Barnabas we need you. If you are interested in mentoring a young minister for a period of time please call or write me.