Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Want to be a Barnabas

Acts 11:22-23 (New International Version)
22News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.

"News of this reached the ears of the church." Those words trigger a shudder of recognition in me. Oh, not about news reaching the ears of the church, but about me, when certain things reach my ears.

In this case, it was a rumour that the Cypriot and Cyrenian Christian Jews had shared the gospel with Greeks, of whom a great number believed and became Christians. The good news of the gospel was spreading more rapidly than butter on a pile of hot pancakes.

I love that when the church got the news of what was happening, they sent a pair of eyes to see what was going on. And what a pair of eyes. Wise eyes. Godly eyes.

Their response has the stamp of godliness. Don't react, but search out truth. I tend to search out truth while I am reacting. What a good lesson is hidden in these few short words.

And oh, how I want to be a Barnabas; a peacemaker, path smoother and rock of reason.


Marilyn said...

Oh boy, did this ever trigger a shudder of recognition in me, too! Imagine if they had just heard, then pulled themselves into a tight circle and murmured amongst themselves, musing about it all and wondering what had actually happened, rather than sending someone out!

And THEN, what a difference it made WHO they sent. As you cited, someone with the right EYES, someone whose report back will be cast in the right light. After all, someone else could have gone and come back spreading panic. "Bar the doors, all those heathen GREEKS will be coming in here soon!"

Susan said...

I'm with Marilyn. Great post. Makes you really want to get it right...

Belinda said...

Eeek--I'm shuddering because I had misspelled Barnabas, as Barnabus! A kind friend emailed me to clue me in. :)

Yes, it does make me want to get it right too, Susan and Marilyn. There is such a lesson there in that short passage.

Susan said...

I like the other spelling better. :)