“Barnabas…encouraged them all.” Ac 11:23 NIV
Ronald Reagan earned the nickname “The Great Communicator” because he was a gifted speaker. Ballplayer Earvin Johnson earned the nickname “Magic” because of what he could do with a basketball. And Joseph of Cyprus earned the nickname “Barnabas” because wherever he went he “encouraged them all.” What a testimony! The Scripture says: (1) “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field…brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet” (Ac 4:36-37 NIV). (2) “When [Barnabas] arrived…he…encouraged them all to remain true…He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith” (Ac 11:23-24 NIV). (3) Barnabas accompanied Paul on missionary trips and wherever he went his spirit of encouragement shone through: “They returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples” (Ac 14:21-22 NIV). (4) “When [Paul] came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles” (Ac 9:26-27 NIV). It was Barnabas who encouraged them to accept Paul and work with him as a brother in Christ. (5) When Paul didn’t want to take John Mark with them because of a perceived failure, Barnabas gave him a second chance. Later Paul acknowledged what a great asset John Mark was. Indeed, he ended up writing the Gospel of Mark, but without encouragement from Barnabas it might not have happened.
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