Son of Consolation

This is the second of two articles once written by David Johnson about Barnabas. I learned a lot from them, and I hope you enjoy them too. – Tim

Paul’s encouragement to help others is well stated in Galatians 6:10. “As we have opportunity let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the household of faith.”

Barnabas was a good example of this quality. It is said about him that he was “a man of faith.” He had faith in God, in Christ, and in the church.

He also had faith in men.

When Saul, one of the greatest enemies the church had ever experienced, came to Jerusalem and claimed to be a Christian, he wasn’t believed. Acts 9:26 says the church was afraid. But there was one who did believe him – Barnabas! He defended Saul and gave the church a lesson on the man’s conversion. This took courage.

On another occasion, John Mark, writer of the gospel that bears his name, had misgivings about mission work and went home, abandoning Paul and the work he was trying to do. This upset the apostle. But later, Mark had a change of heart and came back ready to go on a new mission trip with Paul. But he refused Mark’s proposition, having doubts about his sincerity.

Again, Barnabas stepped in. He was ready to take Mark back and had a sharp disagreement with Paul over it. As a result, the two great men separated – Paul with Silas and Barnabas with Mark. Years later, Paul recognized Mark’s integrity and gave him important work to do.

It is interesting that Barnabas’ name is a verbal picture of himself – SON OF CONSOLATION. He was a peaceful sunset after a storm. How we need Christians like that.

– David Johnson