It’s one thing to know Barnabas was called...
It’s one thing to know Barnabas was called “Son of Encouragement” by the apostles. But it’s another to recognize how encouraging he really was. You can do that by looking closer at what the New Testament says about him.
Let’s notice a few things:
First, Barnabas earned his reputation. When Jesus’ apostles chose to call Joses “Barnabas” it wasn’t an honorary title or flattery. His new name truly matched his behavior.
Barnabas encouraged brethren by providing and delivering aid (Acts 4:36-37, Acts 11:30). He stood up for good brethren when others weren’t willing. (Acts 9:26-30, Acts 15:37-41).
Second, Barnabas got others involved in the Lord’s work. When Barnabas was sent to Antioch, he then went to Tarsus to find Paul and bring him into the work (Acts 11:25-26). When he and Paul later returned from a trip to Jerusalem, he brought John Mark (Acts 12:25).
Some people are naturally good at inviting others to participate in something worthwhile.
The rest of us can learn from Barnabas.
Third, there were times when Barnabas was intense! He didn't exactly sit back and stay quiet when something important needed done:
• In Acts 14--when people tried to worship them--Paul and Barnabas tore their clothes, ran in among the people, and cried out in an effort to stop them. Barnabas knew that only God should be worshiped, and he wouldn’t permit others to worship him.
• He opposed people who tried to bind circumcision on disciples. (Acts 15:2, 15:12).
• He stood up for John Mark, bringing him back into mission work even when Paul didn’t think he should go. (Acts 15:36-40).
It is possible to stand firmly against wrong doctrines and actions while compassionately encouraging and helping brethren. These are valuable lessons for us to take to heart.