Friday, September 08, 2006

Paul & Barnabas

There is a short piece of scripture that describes an argument between Paul and Barnabas.

Here it is:

“Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.” Acts 15:37-40

Barnabas was the one who endorsed Paul when the Apostles would not accept him.

“When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.” Acts 9:26-30

It was Barnabas who went a hundred miles to search and find Paul in Tarsus to help Barnabas in Antioch.

“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” Acts 11:25, 26

The Lord clearly called both of them on their first missionary journey.

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2
It was the beginning of their second missionary when Barnabas and Paul split.
It was on Paul’s third missionary that Paul writes 1 Corinthians. In chapter 9:6:

“Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living?”

From this last statement we can see that Paul still identified with Barnabas even though he had not been with Barnabas for several years. They were not out of fellowship with each other. They decided that God wanted them to go to two different places. They had wanted to stay together, hence the argument.

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