Thesis: Barnabas models a life of encouragement for every Christian.
1. During the course of history some great things have happened that might NOT have happened were it not for some unknown, obscure person:
a. Illust. Colombus' discovery of America: In 1491 and early 1492 Colombus had been to the rulers of Italy, Portugal and Spain seeking support for his voyage of discovery. All had turned him down. As he was leaving the castle of King Ferdinand of Spain after being refused again, legend has it that a man on horseback raced after him & called him back. Queen Isabella had offered to sell her royal jewels to finance the trip. You know the rest of the story!
b. Illust. During the first winter of the Mass. Bay Colony's settlement at Plymouth the Pilgrims were in bad shape. They had no food, they didn't know how to hunt--they seemed doomed. Had it not been for an Indian named Squanto, who taught them how to hunt & fish and in the Spring raise crops, the Pilgrims would never have made it!
2. In Acts 11:26 we read of a great milestone in the history of the church--"The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." Who was the man behind the scenes working to bring this about? BARNABAS.
3. What do we know about Barnabas? (Acts 4:34-37).
a. A man who wanted to do what was right (early disciple).
b. A man who was very generous.
1) Did more than just make a token contribution to early church.
2) Sold some real estate and gave the money to the apostles.
c. A man who had a special talent ("Son of Encouragement").
1) His name matched his most outstanding characteristic.
2) What if our name matched our most outstanding characteristic?
4. How did Barnabas come to have this name? Because he was willing to stand
beside others (encourage).
I. BARNABAS STOOD BESIDE PAUL.
A. In Acts 9 after Paul's conversion, we see him in Jerusalem trying to join himself to the disciples there.
1. He was having trouble convincing them of his sincerity (9:26).
2. Small wonder considering his past.
B. There was a great need for someone to bring Paul & disciples together:
1. That man was Barnabas (Acts 9:27).
2. Result: Paul went on to do a great work for the Lord.
II. BARNABAS STOOD BESIDE JOHN MARK.
A. In Acts 13 we see John Mark on the 1st MJ, but he turns back at Pamphylia.
B. When Paul & Barnabas are ready to go on the 2nd MJ, Barnabas wants to take John Mark but Paul refuses (Acts 15:36-39).
C. What was the result of Barnabas' encouragement of John Mark?
1. He went on to write the Gospel of Mark.
2. Even Paul later recognized his usefulness (2 Tim. 4:11).
III. BARNABAS ENCOURAGED THE LOCAL CHURCH (Acts 11:19-26).
1. Acts 11:19 a pickup from 8:4 (read vv. 19-21).
2. Conversion of Greeks caused some concern in Jerusalem (v. 22).
3. The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas! (read vv. 23-26).
B. What Barnabas did to "stand beside" the church at Antioch.
1. He was not envious of the success of others ("was glad"--23a).
2. He became involved by using the gift God gave him (23b).
a. This is how the church was designed (Eph. 4:11-16).