Berlin Immanuel Church gathered on Sunday, 3 June, holding a service with a sermon on Barnabas with the main passage in Acts 9:18-31. Barnabas played an important role in Paul becoming the great leader, preacher and theologian. He took a risk for Saul getting involved with someone who everyone was afraid of and no one trusted.
There is a potential in every person, God has plans for each one of us to do great works, and like Barnabas, we must see that potential instead of looking at the current image and reputation. We could keep away from uncomfortable people to stay safe, but a person of faith trusts in the power of God’s grace and sees beyond the character and history of a person. A person of faith knows that even an evil person like Saul can be transformed by the power of God’s grace. Barnabas and Paul later become coworkers in mission, but Barnabas recognizes that Paul’s calling and gifts are greater than his own and makes way for the young leader and puts him in the front.
Barnabas could have built a name for himself in Antioch after the initial success of his ministry there, but instead he bring in Paul, for it is glory of God that must increase, not our own glory. Luke records the names of the two coworkers up to Acts 13 as Barnabas and Saul, but after the events in Cyprus, it changes to Paul and Barnabas. In chapter 14, Barnabas is recognized as the senior, the elder leader, the Zeus, but it is Paul that has a great gift of preaching, he is thought to be the messenger of the gods Hermes. Barnabas is humble and seeks to lift up others, not himself. He lives the way of the gospel and knows that when Christ works through someone in greater way, Christ must increase and he must decrease. May we be like Barnabas and open a way for others to bring out the potential that is in them and become great Christian leaders so that the Kingdom of God may grow.