Barnabas was an apostle and a coworker of Paul. Joseph, who was also called by the Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, was a native of Cyprus .
We first hear of Barnabas, whose given name was Joseph, during the early days of the church. The Bible notes how at that time the believers were of one mind, and no one was needy—because from time to time believers would sell some possessions and bring the money to the leaders for distribution (Acts 4:32–35).
Barnabas is mentioned as being one of those generous people.Later, Barnabas is mentioned again as the one who stood up for Paul (also called Saul) before the other apostles in Jerusalem when Paul first became a believer (Acts 9:27). Barnabas also traveled to Tarsus, Paul’s hometown, to ask him to join in ministry at Antioch (Acts 11:25).
Barnabas went with Paul on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:1–3). At the outset of their second journey, Barnabas was such a believer in people that he could not bear to exclude his relative Mark, who had abandoned them on the first journey, even though Paul was insistent that Mark not be allowed to come (Acts 15:36–41).
Barnabas’s encouraging nature was so apparent to everyone that they nicknamed him Son of Encouragement. Take a moment to consider what your most recognizable traits are. Are you seen as a person who encourages? Who helps? Who gives? Or would others see you as someone who criticizes? Who avoids church work days? Who is tight-fisted?
Ask God to help you become a person who is characterized by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23).