Barnabas

Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement

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Barnabas
ACTS 4 COMMENTARY
Acts 4:23-31 You are God
Acts 4:32-35 One Heart One Soul

Acts 4:36-37 Barnabas

Acts 5 Bible Study
ACTS 4:36-37  36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Who is "Barnabas" (Acts 4:36)?
Originally named "Joses" (Acts 4:36), Barnabas was a Jew and a "Levite" (Acts 4:36), which means he was from the tribe of Levi, which descended from Jacob's third of twelve son. Barnabas was in Jerusalem at this time but originally from "Cyprus" (Acts 4:36), the large island in the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea.

What does "Barnabas" mean?
"Son of Encouragement" (Acts 4:36)

Did the apostles rename him "Son of Encouragement" because he sold his land and brought the money?
No, since all other landowners were doing what Barnabas did (see one heart one soul), and there is no mention of anyone being renamed for it. The name Barnabas combines "Bar," which means Son of, with "nabas," which means counsel, prophecy, exhortation or consolation, so Barnabas' name refers to the encouragements he gave to others via his words of counsel, prophecy, exhortation or consolation. Barnabas was a 'people person' who liked to encourage and include others, with his words, as well as his possession.

Did Barnabas continue to live up to his new name?
When Saul, the persecutor of Christians (see Acts 9) returns to Jerusalem as a Christian after his conversion on the road to Damascus and everyone fears he may be trying to trick them, it is Barnabas who meets with Paul and bring him to the apostles (see Saul escapes in a basket). Later, it is Barnabas who fetches Paul in Tarsus to minister with him in Antioch (see Saul of Tarsus) and then partners with and helps him during his first and second missionary journeys. And God eventually used Barnabas' tendency to include others to double the number of missionary teams sent out (see Acts 15).

What did the "apostles" (Acts 4:37) do with the money Barnabas laid at their feet?
They distributed it to those in need (see one heart one soul).

How much money flows in your church from the 'haves' to the 'have nots'?
 

Did the apostles do anything to recognize or reward Barnabas for bringing a sizeable sum of money to them?
Why should they? The money wasn't for them, but for those in need among the brethren, and an act of worship to God.

Did Jesus ever commend anyone for making a large offering?
No, but He did commend someone for making a small offering that was a large proportion of her assets: And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” (Luke 21:1-4)

Which does your church appreciate more: large offerings or offerings that are large in proportion to assets?
 

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