TOPIC: The Son Of Encouragement

READ: Acts 11:19-30 (NKJV)

  1. Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
  2. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.
  3. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
  4. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.
  5. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
  6. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
  7. Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.
  8. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
  9. And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.
  10. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
  11. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.
  12. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.


When the saints were scattered abroad during Saul’s persecution of the Church (Acts 8:1), some of them ended up in Antioch, the capital of Syria, 300 miles north of Jerusalem. The Church saw Antioch as a missionary opportunity, so the elders of the Church commissioned Barnabas to go there to find out what was going on among the Gentiles.

Barnabas was a righteous man and filled with the Spirit. Worshiping with Gentiles was a new experience for him, but he approached it positively and did not look for things to criticise. He gave thanks to God for His grace and taught them to “…cleave to the Lord…” and by his ministry, “many people were added to the Lord” (Acts 11:24). When a child of God is grounded in the Word, he/she will have a strong witness to the lost, and there will be a balance in the Church between edification and evangelism, worship and witnessing. Like Barnabas, may God give you the grace to be a “son (or a daughter) of encouragement” (Acts 4:36).

PRAYER: Lord, please send labourers into Your vineyard!