26 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. 27 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. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
Saul had been an enemy of Jesus’ people, everyone knew it so when the story started going around that the man who was the greatest persecutor had himself become a Christian there was naturally some fear and doubt. This is where Barnabas enters. Barnabas is a respected, established leader who by his friendship with Saul helps to build a bridge between Saul and his new community. At different times in our lives we will need a Barnabas, someone who will help us build a bridge to a new community. At other times we will have the incredible opportunity to be a Barnabas for someone; we will use our credibility combined with a gracious, “not to be threatened” attitude toward a fellow Christian. Opening the door to a younger, less experienced Christian and humbly assisting them when you know they will one day exceed you is a demonstration of the beauty in the Body of Christ (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- Who do you feel God wants you to help build a bridge to a new community (either at work, social life or at church)?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for the spiritually lost among the global community in Shanghai; pray that they will be drawn to God by the Holy Spirit.
Note: If you want someone to help you build a bridge to Christianity and or if you want to grow deeper in your faith with the Lord please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to connect with you.