We are introduced to Barnabas, a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Barnabas’ name means son of encouragement. He had been sent by the leaders in Jerusalem to report on how the faith was spreading.
As the original disciples began to share the faith with the Gentiles and Greeks they were amazed at how quickly and how many turned to the new faith. The hand of God must have been with Barnabas. He was able to navigate between the disciples and the new people, sharing the faith and helping them to work together.
And so, their numbers grew. Barnabas left Antioch to search out Saul (soon to be called Paul). Saul returned with Barnabas and as we read, they shared the faith for an entire year in Antioch. There is something to be said about sharing our faith, that is in teams of two or more. We can support each other. Lift one another’s spirits when down. We share our energy and excitement.
Our new faith movement was originally known as The Way. There is no mention of how that came about. This name is referenced several times in the New Testament. But it is in Antioch the name of Christian came about. It is used only two more times in the Bible.
Some scholars have wondered if this name was acceptable to the believers. If it were would it not be used more often? We may never know. What we do know is now we are known as Christians. It is an inclusive term that all should keep in mind that all are called by God.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen