Barnabas was a Big Deal
- Saul was Attacked (v. 9:19-24)
- Saul was Avoided (v. 9:25)
- Barnabas Advocated (v. 9:26-31)
- After Saul’s conversion, he was attacked by his old friends, he was avoided by the disciples and he found himself all alone. Have you ever found yourself alone, lonely, feeling isolated like an outcast? Was there anyone special Jesus sent your way?
- Barnabas shows up in Acts and constantly builds bridges of reconciliation. Do you tend to be a bridge builder or barrier builder?
- Bridge #1 – Acts 4:34-37 Why does God use generous people to help others fly higher? Where do you struggle most with generosity? What is one step you can take to grow in putting people above possessions?
- Bridge #2 – Acts 9:26-28 Barnabas clearly understands that people change and he extends grace not guilt to Saul. Why does holding onto past hurt hinder us from offering present help to people? What past hurts are you holding onto? What would it look like to let go of wrongs done to you? (2 Corinthians 5:19).
- Bridge #3 – Acts 11:22-23 Barnabas was sent to check out the Gentile church. Although they were very different, they dressed, ate and sang differently than he was used to, he rejoiced. Where do you tend to put your preferences above people? What would it look like to value people over preferences and focus on the mattering things instead of the meaningless things?
- Bridge #4 – Acts 13:1-2,42 Barnabas freely gave up his position and power so that Saul could fly. Why is it so difficult to give up our position, power and prominence? Where have you found it difficult to celebrate another person’s successes? Where do you struggle to give up power the most?
- Bridge #5 – Acts 15:35-40 Barnabas wanted to give Mark a second chance and was willing to fight for him. Do you find forgiveness an easy thing? Do you give people second chances? We all put people into a box when they fail us, but do you seal the box or allow for grace and growth?
Acts 9:19-31 NASB
19 and he took food and was strengthened.
Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
23 When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death; 25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. 30 But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.
31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.