barnabas in bible

Barnabas the Encourager

To be named in the Bible is significant. To be noted in the Bible is even more significant.

Barnabas has appeared many times in the book of Acts. His real name is Joseph, but Barnabas means “son of encouragement,” and Barnabas definitely lived up to this name.

Born as a Jew on Cyprus, he reputedly was martyred in 61 AD at Salamis in Cyprus. We first meet him in Acts 4:37 where he sold his field and gave the proceeds to the poor in Jerusalem. Barnabas has played such a significant role in Paul’s life.

  • Barnabas led Paul to the apostles after he converted (Acts 9:26-27).
  • Barnabas is “a good man and full of the Holy Spirt and faith” (Acts 11:24)
  • Barnabas thought of Paul’s role in the church (Acts 11:25-26)
  • Both Paul and Barnabas carried back alms to Jerusalem to help with famine (Acts 11:27-30)
  • Barnabas helped Paul realize his calling to the Gentiles
  • Barnabas was handpicked to go with Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:1-3)
  • Barnabas helped in the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:2)
  • Both Paul and Barnabas carried the decrees of the Council to the churches in Syria and Asia Minor (Acts 15:22-35)
  • Barnabas left Paul to go with his cousin, Mark, during Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (Acts 15:36-41)

Paul writes about Barnabas in his epistles (1 Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 2:1, 9, 13; Colossians 9:10), showing how Barnabas helped him in his journey in life. Who is helping you on yours?

Peter in the bible

Peter the Rock

Every list of the disciples names Peter first. He has a big heart and unlimited enthusiasm. He was eager, impulsive, self-confident, and daring. Yet, he had his rough edges and swung wildly like a pendulum, bold and courageous one moment, and the next cowardly, fickle and weak.

Peter’s 1st and 2nd letters in the Bible are starkly contrasted from his gospels earlier in his life. Peter has changed, mellowed out, and is now feeding Jesus’s sheep. This letter is written in the 50s or early 60s to Christians in Asia Minor who were undergoing persecution. Peter hoped to encourage holy conduct in the face of suffering by assuring the Christians of their coming reward in heaven.

Peter disappears from the New Testament after Acts 15:6-11. Paul records a rebuke from Peter in Galatians 2:11-21 and John mentions him in John 21:18-19. There are his two letters, but that’s it.

Peter is the apostle of hope, showing us how God does not give up on people. Peter was thought to have died by being crucified upside down — a request he made, deeming himself unworthy to die like Jesus. Now that’s hope.

Apostle Paul

The Most Thoroughly Converted Man Who Has Ever Lived

Saul who became Paul and an apostle, not by choice, but by God’s will.

He obeyed and changed the world.

During his lifetime, Paul wrote half the New Testament books, which laid the groundwork for much of Christian theology.

He was jailed, beaten, and endured riots.

Who do you need to convert with God’s help?