Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. Acts 4:36-37
Barnabas is shown in the Acts of the Apostles to be a model Christian leader. He was a native of Cyprus, was active in the Jerusalem church and demonstrated unselfish generosity in meeting the needs of the poorer members of that community (Acts 4:32-37).
His given name was Joseph, but his nickname was Barnabas, meaning son of encouragement, one which clearly indicated his character.
Bible Reading: Acts 11:19-24
Barnabas was able to give a fair assessment of the new church in Antioch, perceiving God’s blessing to be there, and he encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
His character was one of transparent goodness and abundant faith, combined with a Spirit-filled life and ministry. The leaders of the Antioch church chose him as their representative on the first missionary journey, confirming their recognition of his worth (Acts 13:1-3).
Barnabas wasn’t perfect, he gave in to peer pressure on one occasion, although he knew better (Galatians 2:11-16). Even so, he was a son of encouragement to many, and a generous, unselfish man who fostered growth in others and in the church.
We’re also imperfect human beings, and so the life of Barnabas can be an encouragement to us. Encouragement costs nothing, and it can really lift other people. So, why not make a point of encouraging someone every day, especially in these difficult times?