“He encouraged them all to remain firm in their commitment to the Lord.” —Acts 11:23 “Then...” —Acts 11:25
You would expect anyone known as the “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36) to spend his time exhorting people to remain firm in their commitment to the Lord. The leaders of the Jerusalem church expected this from Barnabas. That’s why they sent him to strengthen the new converts in a young church which faced possible persecution (Acts 11:19).
Encouragement, for Barnabas, was not just doing the expected: a few kind words and “being there” for others. Encouragement also meant finishing the job: personally doing whatever it took to make sure that each person became a solid, life-long disciple of Jesus. Barnabas knew that the best way to give his new converts fresh and continuing courage was to feed them God’s Word. Accordingly, Barnabas made sure those he was encouraging would receive God’s Word by personally travelling to Tarsus, tracking down Paul, and bringing him back to Antioch (Acts 11:25-26). Together, they “instructed great numbers” “for a whole year,” probably by means of daily Scripture teaching (Acts 11:26). By the time Barnabas completed his “encouragement,” the new converts were now called “Christians” and “disciples” (Acts 11:26), meaning those who have absolutely committed themselves to follow Jesus.
Be sons and daughters of encouragement. “Encourage one another” (Heb 10:25) and finish the job.
Prayer: Father, Source of all encouragement (Rm 15:5), teach me “how to rouse” and encourage Your people (Heb 10:24-25).
Promise: “Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift.” —Mt 10:8
Praise: St. Barnabas encouraged Antioch to accept St. Paul, and St. Paul to accept his nephew, John Mark.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio September 18, 2019
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.