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Archive for June 11th, 2013

Readings:

Isaiah 42: 5-12

Psalm 112

Acts 11: 19-30; 13: 1-3

St. Mark 6: 7-13

Bio:  St. Barnabas was a Levite from Cyprus who sold some land and gave the proceeds to the early Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts 4:36-37). St. Paul informs us that hewas a cousin of John Mark (Colossians 4:10). Barnabas was sent by the Jerusalem Church to oversee the young Church in Antioch (Acts 11:22). While there, he went to Tarsus and brought Paul back to Antioch to help him (Acts 11:25-26). It was this Church in Antioch that commissioned and sent Barnabas and Paul on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:2-3). When it was time for the second missionary journey, however, Barnabas and Paul disagreed about taking along John Mark. Barnabas took Mark and went to Cyprus; Paul took Silas and headed north through Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:36-41). Nothing more is known of the activities of Barnabas, except that he was apparently known to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 9:6). Tradition relates that Barnabas died a martyr’s death in Cyprus by being stoned.

Reflections:  

Barnabas was a Jew, a Levite born in Cyprus, one of the first disciples of the apostles, and Paul’s traveling companion until the sixteenth year after the resurrection of Christ. He is mentioned in [Acts] 4, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 1 Corinthians 9, Galatians 2. Part of the sermons of Barnabas is recited by Clement [of Alexandria] in his Stromateis:

“Before we believed in God, the dwelling of our heart was corruptible and fragile; truly it was a temple made by hands, when it was full of idolatry, and was a house of demons. But behold! It has been built gloriously into the temple of the Lord. How? By receiving the remission of sins and by hoping in the name of Christ, let us become new and re-created,because God truly dwells in us. How? When these dwell in us: the Word of His faith, the calling of His promise, the wisdom of  justification, and the mandates of doctrine.”

Barnabas is the same as “Son of consolation” (Acts 4), from bar, “son,” and nafesh, “recreate, revive, console,” and so on. Eusebius (bk. 1, ch. 14) writes that he was one of the seventy disciples.—David Chytraeus (All the above from The Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH)

The following is from the Memorial Moment by Pr. Scott Murray:  Barnabas, whose feast day is today, was truly the son of consolation (Acts 4:36) for the brokenhearted Mark; encouraging him with the work of seeing to the needs of the churches. He was to provide the Lord’s consolation to them with the consolation he himself had received from the Lord through Barnabas (2 Co 1:4). Both Paul and Barnabas had their roles to play in the life of John Mark. Paul was the law and Barnabas the gospel for the young man. Barnabas kept excessive sorrow from overcoming a young man with whom, at the time, Paul refused to work. Notice too, that this was not the end of the collaboration between Paul and Mark. Later Paul described Mark as “very useful to me for ministry” (2Ti 4:11). There were issues bigger than the difference of opinion that resulted in a parting of the ways between Barnabas and Paul. They still had the unity that they shared in Christ Jesus. They had a fellowship that a parting of the ways could not break. Mark needed both Paul and Barnabas and matured as a Christian leader because of the involvement of both of them in his life. Their unity in Christ demanded that both Paul and Barnabas, each in his own way, provide what the Lord wanted for Mark and that Mark needed. Jesus sent them both, and for their own purposes, into the life of Mark.

 Jesus sends us leaders who are both like Paul and like Mark. Some are ready with the rebuke that we need. Others are ready with a word of comfort and encouragement. Both are important. We should thank God for both. Both enable us to preach the Word of God and to evangelize those who are in need of hearing of Christ as their Savior. As we thank God for Paul, so too we give thanks for Barnabas in the consolation that he offers. We need both a Paul and a Barnabas in our lives.

Hymnody

For Barnabas we praise You, Who kept Your law of love

And, leaving earthly treasures, Sought riches from above.

O Christ, our Lord and Savior, Let gifts of grace descend,

That Your true consolation May through the world extend.

—By All Your Saints in Warfare  (LSB 518:17)

 

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