What if there was no Barnabus? If there were no Barnabus, then there would be no Antioch church. And if there was no Antioch church, then there would be no missionary journey to the Gentiles. And if there was no missionary journey to the gentiles, then there would be no mass conversion of the gentiles in the first and second century. And if there was no mass conversion in the first and second centuries then there would be no Christianity for us. That’s just one way that I can pull on the threads of history to show you the absolute centrality of this man named Barnabas.
We could look at it a different way. We could say if there was no Barnabas there would be no Paul, and if there was no Paul there would be no missionary journeys, and if there was no missionary journeys there would be no Romans, or Galatians or the rest of the New Testament. And if there was no rest of the New Testament, there would be no Christianity for you.
I want you to meet Barnabas today. Listen in for this encouragement from God’s Word!
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch,spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabasto Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done,he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 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.