Summary: This ext tells us of the wonderful character of this man Barnabas.
Barnabas-Son of Consolation by Gerald Van Horn
Text. Acts 11:19-30
Acts 4:36-37 as well as Acts 9:26-28 tells us of the wonderful character of this man Barnabas. His real name was Joseph and he was a native of Cyprus. In the face of danger, Paul found himself friendless and all believers were afraid of him because of his reputation. Paul had perse-cuted all believers and they were threatened with death. But Barnabas took him in and befriended him. He was a delight to Paul and a great encourag-ment to Paul. Today’s church needs more men like Barnabas. Verse 24 de-scribes him as a “good man”. In the light of our text, let us look at this good man.
1. He exhibited an inner spiritual intuition. In verse 23 we read, “Who, when he came and had seen the grace of God, was glad and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord”. He saw souls that were saved and being added to the church. He saw that they were transformed by the grace of God. It was not a mere formality on the part of the church but sincere worship on their part and they all were rejoicing in the Lord. Barnabas was a man full of the Holy Ghost and faith. He was sincere in his assessment of the situation.
2. He rejoiced with them. He was glad. It was not superficial but genuine. Barnabas was thrilled to see God using others in bringing revival to the church. He sensed that the church was genuine in their praise and joined in with them. How often we are reluctant to participate in the midst of people that we meet for the first time. The people were being blessed and Barnabas did not want to miss this blessing.
3. He spoke up for good. Vocal expression is the measure of a good man - when you say the right thing. This was no preacher, just a “lay person” . He was instrumental in encouraging new believers. He was quick to point them to the Lord. The word used is “He exhorted them to cleave to the Lord”. The Greek word for “cleave” is “prosklisis” which means to glue, to adhere or join. The church was in the process of becoming a family. Such exhor-
tation is a good gauge for the mark of a man of God. Let us mark well what we say.
4. He sent for the man of God - Paul. He knew that Paul was the gifted man of the hour who could and was capable to lead this revival. It is here that the believers are called “Christians” for the first time. It was an unselfish act on the part of Barnabas. He was willing to submit to Paul’s authority as a chosen vessel of God. No wonder they stayed there for one year and taught the people. Preacher jealousy is the scourge of our generation and any generation. We are not in competition with each other but we are doing the same work of the Lord that He has called us to do. One young preacher was so excited about being a part of God’s work that he was overheard to have said, “It’s time for all of us to work shoulder to shoulder and back to back and go forward”. No way - but you have to appreciate his enthusiasm for the work of the Lord.
5. He lived what he said. More than lip service was here. He lived out his life glorifying God by his deeds. Such a man is rare. Not only to talk - but to “walk” the talk. Barnabas was a spiritually tall man. How needy we are in our churches for men like Barnabas. The test is in what we “do”.
James 1:27 says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this - to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world” - James 1:27. It’s time to move out of our comfort zone and get busy for the Lord. The hand of the Lord is upon you to work in harvest.