Barnabas: The son of consolation
The early church was characterised by great giving. As many of them that owned lands or houses sold them and brought the money to the apostles to cater for the needs of the poor people among them.
Land is a sign of dominion. The early church members owned lands and houses, so it is not out of place for you to own a land or property that has your name on it. I pray that God will help you to own a property in Jesus Name, Amen.
You will notice an interesting personality in Acts 4:36 whose name was called Joses. Joses was a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus. “Joses” was renamed by the early church and they called him “Barnabas”. Why was he renamed “Barnabas”? It was because he was a source of consolation to the early church. “Barnabas” means the son of consolation. In Acts 4:37, Joses now Barnabas sold his land and brought the money to the apostles, so they could use it to make distribution to those who were in need.
Consolation means comfort, encouragement, relief, compassion and solace. It is often excruciating for people to live under poverty and never have enough to meet their needs. It is a great comfort when someone comes along and gives to their needs. It is consoling. That is one reason why Barnabas was called the “son of consolation.”
We see this wonderful character called Barnabas again in Acts 9. Saul was once a persecutor of the church. A change occurred in his life after his conversion on his way to Damascus. He began to preach Christ the Son of God, and he found himself now the victim of persecution! Escaping from Damascus, he sought to join the disciples in Jerusalem, but they were afraid of him and would not believe that he was a believer (Acts 9:26-27).
In the face of danger, Paul found himself friendless and all believers were afraid of him because of his past reputation. But Barnabas took him in, befriended him and brought him to the apostles with an account of both his conversion experience and his preaching. He was a delight and a great encouragement to Paul. Today’s church needs more men like Barnabas. Acts 11:24 describes him as a “good man”.
Barnabas was reckoned a trustworthy man by the church in Jerusalem, and they sent him to encourage the church in Antioch. In the meantime, Saul had been sent home to Tarsus, to escape persecution in Jerusalem. Barnabas found Saul and brought him to Antioch. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. Barnabas and Saul were entrusted with the relief, which was being sent from Antioch to Judea – Acts 11:22-30.
Are you a son of consolation? Are there people that you can point to that you have helped in this life? Philippians 2:4 says, “Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (MSG).
Barnabas’s was a great encouragement to the apostles and the early church. He helped Paul not to backslide from the Faith by defending him before the Disciples in Jerusalem, and this act helped Paul a great deal in growing in Faith.
Our world is filled with people going through one life challenge or the other. May you become that person who will help other people get ahead during life-shattering moments. Choose to be an encourager and not a discourager.