The dramatic change in Saul brought a lot of questions, not just with the religious leaders, but with the apostles in Jerusalem. They had seen thousands come to faith in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, but not one convert was as vehemently opposed to the gospel and the church as Saul. Saul needed someone who was directly familiar with his conversion and had witnessed the power of God working in this life to confirm to others what God had done.
God placed a man, who by nature was an encourager (Acts 4:36-37), into Saul’s life at this critical transition. When Saul tried to join the disciples in Jerusalem, “they were all afraid of him…[and] did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus” (9:26-27). Barnabas was well known in the Jerusalem church for his character, so they leaned on him for details that proved what had taken place with Saul. The personal knowledge Barnabas had meant that Saul could go “in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord” (9:28).
Barnabas was a man connected with what God was doing. This is so necessary for the work of God and the gospel to move forward! Every church should have a Barnabas! Every believer should have a Barnabas---a person who is walking with God and knows what He is doing in others. That requires sacrificing self so the work of God can be promoted in others. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). Are you a Barnabas?
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