Who Was Barnabas?
Barnabas: A Man of Low Profile and Great Impact
Barnabas was an individual with great characteristics that we can emulate. He was a man with a low profile, but great impact. Here are several good aspects regarding the person of Barnabas.
1. Good Reputation
His reputation preceded him. – Barnabas’ real name was Joseph a Levite from Cyprus, but the Apostles named him Barnabas, “son of encouragement.” (Acts 4:36-37)
His honesty and generosity were noted. – Barnabas was one of those who sold a field he owned and brought the money to the Apostles to help the needy. (Acts 4:36-37)
He was reliable – When Greeks began turning to the Lord in Antioch, the Jerusalem church sent Barnabas there. They said that “he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith.” (Acts 11:22-24)
2. Good Mentor
He risked his reputation for others. – When Saul was feared greatly by the believers in Jerusalem, Barnabas was the one who introduced Saul to the Apostles. Then, Saul was able to move about freely in Jerusalem among the believers. (Acts 9:26-31).
He went out of his way to train others. – From Antioch, Barnabas went all the way to Tarsus to find Saul and brought him to Antioch to work together. (Acts 11:25-26)
He did not demand the limelight. – Although Paul began to get more attention, he never feared or complained about it. In the book of Acts, the usage “Barnabas and Saul” gradually changes to “Saul and Barnabas.” Maybe an indicator of the recognition of the growth and leadership of Saul (Acts 13:42 ).
3. Good Teacher
His teaching spurred the people to action. – The believers in Antioch sent help to the mother church in Judea. Barnabas obviously taught them to be good givers – even to give back to the home church. (Acts 11:27-30)
As a result of his teaching, the people were encouraged to live like Christ. The followers of Jesus were called Christians (little Christs) first in Antioch. (Acts 11:26)
4. Good Leader
He was a leader who developed leaders. – The people that Barnabas and Saul raised up in the faith were the ones who laid their hands on them and sent them off according to the call of God: “set apart Barnabas and Saul.” He developed sufficient leadership to be able to look after the church after they left the scene. (Acts 13:1-3)
He was comfortable with different roles. – Barnabas was mentioned as a prophet and teacher in Acts 13:1-3 – He was also described as an Apostle in Acts 14:14
He remained accountable to his sending church. – After appointing elders in various churches, Barnabas and Saul returned to Antioch and reported to the church regarding their efforts. (Acts 14:21-28).
WHAT CAN I DO?
Change your perspective from wanting to be great to having a great impact in the lives of those around you.
Find people who need a hand and be a Barnabas to them.
Keep doing this – again, and again, and again.