(Acts 9:23-31) – A friend like Barnabas
You can imagine the position Paul found himself in, how badly he must’ve felt. You spend so much time trying to wipe a group of people out of existence, and now you ARE one of those people.
How does that look to them? Will they believe what I’m saying now? Will I be accepted?
I don’t know if those questions came into his mind, but one thing is certain…some Christians were super scared of Paul even still.
What Paul needed was a human advocate, someone who could vouch for the fact that he had really changed and that His new life in Jesus was legit.
That’s what Barnabas was for him. When other people weren’t sure about Paul, Barnabas came in and removed any doubt. He stuck his neck out for Paul because he believed in him and wanted him to keep moving forward for Jesus.
We need to be friends like this. We should speak up for others when the truth about them isn’t known or believed. We want to be friends that help people keep moving forward with God.
Imagine the struggle Paul would’ve had if he had no one to speak up for him…If he had to defend himself…
I don’t think it’s an accident that right after this account, Luke makes a note about the church being in a really healthy position. The conversion of Paul was MIND BLOWING to people. They knew they were part of something special.
Encouragement is a big deal. Look for someone who you can come alongside of and encourage! It will mean the world to them.