Friends Of Paul: Barnabas Part 1

Read Acts 9:26-31

After fleeing Damascus where the Jews had tried to kill him, Saul came to Jerusalem and “tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him”. Why would the disciples in Jerusalem would have been afraid of Saul?

It is interesting how the text tells us Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. We are not given a lot of details. Did they know each other personally previously? That seems doubtful given Paul’s past. It says “they were all afraid of him”, but evidently Barnabas was not! Had he been in Damascus and witnessed Paul’s transformation?

We were introduced to Barnabas earlier in Acts 4:36-37. What was his other name? Where did he get the name “Barnabas” and what did it mean? How might this help us understand the actions of Barnabas in Acts 9?

I suppose it took courage to stand up for Paul. Everyone was afraid and it sounds like unwilling to give him a chance. How might “son of encouragement” be the kind of person who would stand up for someone everyone was afraid of and say, “let’s give him a chance!”

Please share your thoughts below and add any additional thoughts about this first part of the story of Paul and Barnabas.

We will review Paul’s friendship with Barnabas in our Zoom / Facebook Live class Wednesday night.

5 thoughts on “Friends Of Paul: Barnabas Part 1

  1. The churches were afraid of Saul because he had papers to bring them bound to Jerusalem. The church at Jerusalem would have been subjected to aggression from the Jews there, as well as remembered the death of Stephen in Jerusalem where Saul was a witness. The church there would have known who Saul was and what he was capable of doing towards them.

    Barnabas is one of my favorite bible characters. He was originally named Jose’s, but was surnamed by the apostles to a name meaning son of encouragement. In Acts 4, we know he sold land and gave money to the apostles and in Acts 11, the Bible says he was a good man full of the holt spirit. These attributes would have made him a willing individual to assist Saul as a new Christian and encourage him. There is some thought that Saul and Barnabas knew each other, as secular history includes that they both were at the school of Gamaliel. This familiarity could have made Barnabas more likely to help Saul, as he would have understood his background better. Regardless if he knew Saul or not, he set an extraordinary example for us in regards to how we treat others.


    1. That is an interesting thought about how they might have known each other, maybe studied together. Yet one accepted the gospel and became a Christian, the other did not and persecuted Christians.


      1. That’s definitely a great point to ponder, Jimmy. We see that happening all the time, even to this day. It even happened in our family, with my sister Martha, staying with our parents, and staying in church, her whole life, …teaching both her children the Bible, during home schooling, but now, helping to raise & teach Jessi’s & David’s little boys, home schooling them, and teaching them Biblical things most days. (I want to go and learn with the little boys ♡♡.) But, I, unlike my younger sister, Martha (Hug), strayed away from the church, Biblical things, and away from God & Jesus from 15 yrs old, until when I came back to church with y’all at Lakeshore. Now, I’m so far behind everyone and in even general Bible knowledge.


  2. Last Wednesday during the discussion of Barnabas standing up for Paul, I was reminded of how Paul stood up for Onesimus when writing to Philemon. These are 2 examples that I need to work harder to follow.


    1. Good point Mary K!! I agree with you and I also need to be stronger and stand up for lots of things & probably, some people too.


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