So with this said - this begins a series of blog entries I am starting on "Barnabas - Son of Encouragement." I do hope you find it beneficial for your own soul, as I am also praying that the testimony of this great man's story will have a greater impact on my own life and character.
With this said, we begin. The very first time we hear of Barnabas is in Acts 4:
"34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were
owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold
35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to
each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles
Barnabas (which means son of encouragement) a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet." (ESV)
The very first characteristic we can see coming from Barnabas' life was this was a man who was concerned for the poor and to those who had need. He was so concerned that he took what he had and sold it and gave it to the apostles for them to distribute as there was need among the people of God. Barnabas was a man whose orientation was not towards himself nor his worldly goods, but instead towards those who are without. In a word - Barnabas was a man of "mercy." He had compassion in his heart towards his fellowman desiring that they be cared for.