Daily Word

Barnabas & Saul ministry | Acts 11:22-26

22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

Acts 11:22-26 (ESV) 中文

Meanwhile in Antioch

Good news spread about Peter’s ministry to the Gentiles. Even the more legalistic Jewish believers in Christ in Jerusalem accepted that the Gospel was not just for Jews but for Gentiles as well. At the same time in Antioch, some preached to gentiles and a great number who believed turned to the Lord (v21). 

Barnabas the encourager

Barnabas is first introduced in Acts 4:36 as the “son of encouragement” for his demonstration of faith and love in selling property for the benefit of others. Then in Acts 9:27, he took a huge step of faith to reach out to Saul (Paul) and welcome him on his first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion from prosecutor to persecuted. He listened to his testimony then shuttled him around to the disciples who had been afraid of him. 

This is who the Jerusalem church sends to Antioch to check things out this amazing work among the gentiles there to make sure it was legit. He is a “glass half full” type of guy. He saw what was happening and rejoiced. Verse 24 tells us he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and faith. He encouraged (exhorted) them to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose (v23). Many continued to come to faith.

Barnabas & Saul ministry

Then Barnabas remembered Saul from their meeting in Jerusalem (see above) and knew he was in Tarsus. So he went there to find him and bring him back to Antioch. There the two ministered together to the growing church at Antioch. “The church at Antioch was the launching site for several missionary journeys (Acts 13:1–3; 14:26,;15:32–33, 36–40; 18:22–23). In many cases, the church at Antioch commissioned the missionaries for a specific task.” (gotquestions.org) Disciples were first called Christians there (v26).

Paul and Barnabas did much great ministry together. They took a financial gift from the Antioch church to the Jerusalem church when a famine hit (we’ll see soon). Later, in Antioch, they were set apart by the Holy Spirit as missionaries (Acts 13:2). But on that trip, they had a falling out over John Mark who deserted them on the trip (Acts 15:36–41). But later they reconciled (2 Timothy 4:11).


  • In a previous post about Barnabas, we encouraged those of you who are the Barnabas type to persevere in it, you are desperately needed in the body of Christ. Encouragement is a gift that, as all gifts, is for the benefit of the body and should be put to use (Romans 12:6).
  • Paul, as most of us know, was one of, if not the most, influential person in all Christianity. He had a rough start due to his anti-Christian previous life. But Barnabas played a key role in welcoming him. Who knows what would have happened were not it for Barnabas. Is there someone you can come alongside and encourage today? Even if they don’t become a great leader, you can still play your role.
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