19 那些因司提反的事遭患難四散的門徒直走到腓尼基和塞浦路斯，並安提阿；他們不向別人講道，只向猶太人講。 20 但內中有塞浦路斯和古利奈人，他們到了安提阿也向希臘人傳講主耶穌（有古卷作：也向說希臘話的猶太人傳講主耶穌）。 21 主與他們同在，信而歸主的人就很多了。 22 這風聲傳到耶路撒冷教會人的耳中，他們就打發巴拿巴出去，走到安提阿為止。 23 他到了那裡，看見神所賜的恩就歡喜，勸勉眾人，立定心志，恆久靠主。 24 這巴拿巴原是個好人，被聖靈充滿，大有信心。於是有許多人歸服了主。 25 他又往大數去找掃羅， 26 找著了，就帶他到安提阿去。他們足有一年的工夫和教會一同聚集，教訓了許多人。門徒稱為基督徒是從安提阿起首。
19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
Barnabas appears as a minor character taking a backseat to Paul. His name means “son of encouragement.” He brought the money, having sold a field, to the apostles for charity use (4:37). Later he encouraged the believers to accept Paul(9:27). Paul and Barnabas began an itinerary ministry, teaching, caring and evangelizing. Barnabas is described as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (11:24). The last time they minister together, they had a fierce disagreement and they separated (Ch 15). Though Barnabas enters and disappears in Acts quietly, we hear echoes of Jesus: “Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matt 20:26).
Who in my life has impacted me most deeply? Who was like Barnabas that has believed in me, supported me when I sorely needed it? Who, as Barnabas did, “strengthened (my) souls… and encouraged (me) to continue in the faith” (14:22)?
Barnabas could be characterized as a giver – he gave of his money, time, energy, and position. Which of these types of giving is most difficult for me? In what way might God be asking me to give right now?
How can I imitate Barnabas as an encourager of others, seeing their potential, and spurring them on in proclaiming the good news of Jesus?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Barnabas is an Encourager and a cheerful Giver. Do I like to give away things to people who need it? What have I given to people? Discuss ways and things your family can give to a needy family or a person. Decide when and how to accomplish it. Record your plan in your Family Devotional Journal.