Let’s say that I were asked the question, “What is one word that you would use to
describe the ‘Barnabas’ that we read of in the Bible if you could use just one word, what would it be?” I would answer it in this way, “Encourager.”
In Acts 4:36-37, we are told about Barnabas, “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.” Many of the Jews who had come to celebrate the Pentecost were converted to Christianity in Acts 2. They stayed there in Jerusalem to worship with the congregation and to behold the work of the Apostles after the Pentecost was over. They ran out of supplies, because they were staying longer than they had expected to stay. Barnabas was very generous in his giving. He encouraged the Apostles in the work
that they had to do in ensuring that the needs of those who were in need were sustained. He did this by selling his land and giving the money to the Apostles. It is no wonder, he is called “the son of consolation,” which means “the son of encouragement.” In Acts 9:26-27, we see that Barnabas was willing to defend Paul. In Acts 15:36-40, we also read of how that Barnabas encouraged Mark to do the work of an evangelist by taking Mark with him to encourage the brethren where he had preached the Word.
I encourage you to be the type of person that people think of as being encouraging. If we are going to be looked at as encouragers, we need to have the inner disposition of encouragement as expressed in our inner thoughts, which will then be verbalized by our words, and will be demonstrated by our actions. As it relates to our thoughts, let us rejoice always (Philippians 4:4). This will help us to be positive and to encourage. We must encourage others daily, lest we fall into sin (Hebrews 3:12-13). Let us think on things above and seek ways in which we can do good to others (Colossians 3:2). Let us then seek to seriously consider how we can treat others as we want to be treated, and let us guard our speech. Let us make sure that everything that we say builds up in some
way (Ephesians 4:29). Let us then do more than people ask us to do (Matthew 5:41). We must go the extra mile. Let us seek each day to do good deeds that we would usually not do that day. Let us do this each day, and this will help us to demonstrate that each of us is being a “Barnabas!” If we want to truly be a “Barnabas,” we must encourage in our thoughts, words, and actions!
-Jason Gann