Why in Exodus 17:9 Moses sharpens Joshua empowering Joshua to lead decisively. In 1 Samuel 3:9 Eli sharpens Samuel, empowering Samuel to pray wisely. In Luke 1:41-45 Elizabeth sharpens Mary, empowering Mary to surrender faithfully. And in 2 Timothy 1:5 Eunice sharpens Timothy bolstering Timothy to preach boldly.
“[as a Jew… [I was] educated [strictly]…in the Law…being ardent [even a zealot] for God… [and so]…I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) [followers of the Way in Jesus -- putting them] to the death -- putting [them] in chains and committing [them] to prison...” (Acts 22:2-4, The Amplified Bible).
Barnabas speaks up for Saul, explaining to the apostles “…how Saul…had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him -- how in Damascus [Saul] had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus…” (Acts 9:27).
Wouldn’t it be great if Barnabas became the predominant nickname at FCOB? I mean wouldn’t it be terrific if there was so much support – so much companionship – so much mentoring in this place – that everyone at FCOB was known as a son or daughter of encouragement?
Provide Training: giving Paul an opportunity to actually co-pastor the church in Antioch with him in Acts 11:25-26
Widen Horizons: exposing Paul to new sights, sounds and people, as Paul and subsequently John Mark, travel with Barnabas throughout Asia Minor in Acts 13-15
Demonstrate Emotional Maturity: showing a reconciling spirit toward Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:6 after a sharp disagreement with Paul in Acts 15:36ff
Exhibit Holiness And Spiritual Power: living such a godly life that he was described by the church of Antioch, in ear-shot of Paul, as “…a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith…” (Acts 11:24)
Show Encouragement Provide Training Widen Horizons Demonstrate Emotional Maturity Exhibit Holiness and Spiritual Power.