Acts 9:26-30 (NIV)
When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
Many things to look out for in this portion of scripture. Paul has regained his sight and he immediately starts preaching amongst the Jews. His message was true yet everyone around him questioned his authenticity because of his past life. They even plotted to kill him because they sincerely thought he was not genuine. Here is what I will like you to see when everyone doubted Saul, one person did not. That person was Barnabas. The name Barnabas also means “Son of Encouragement”. As we read earlier in Acts 9:26 (NIV) - When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles.
Our focus today is on Barnabas. How can we examine our instrumentality through the eyes of Barnabas in this day and age? First, we need to ask the Spirit of God within us to help take off any limitations that prevent us from seeing people the right way. Our eyes need to be open in order to see the great potentials in people. Secondly, we need to put aside judgmental attitudes. The disciples were very judgmental of Saul and they could not see past their judgment towards him. Thirdly, be careful not to allow a person’s past determine how you deal with them in the future.
Barnabas became very instrumental in the life of Saul who was later re-named, Paul. They ministered the gospel on many occasions together. Saul was greatly encouraged by Barnabas. Today, most Christians talk about Paul, how great he was and how he is still influencing our lives through his epistles. Very few remember the instrument of change called Barnabas. Choose to become a Barnabas (A son or daughter of Encouragement) in your generation.