Years ago the most popular TV sitcom was “Seinfeld.” One of the characters, “George” wants a cool nickname. He wants his friends to call him “T-Bone.” It never catches on with his friends. Instead, they nickname him, “Koko the monkey.” He hates it…obviously!
There is a man in the Bible named Joseph, but you probably don’t know him by his given name. But you may know him by his nickname, “Barnabus.” I am convinced that Barnabas is the unsung hero of the early church. The name given to him had great meaning and gives us a sneak preview of the character, and qualities of this unsung hero. Barnabas means “son of encouragement”. He was a source of encouragement to everyone. It’s Barnabus that mentors Saul who becomes the Apostle Paul. He traveled with Paul on his missionary journeys, planting churches and making a difference throughout the Mediterranean.
Here’s the question. Based on your actions and character, what would people nickname you? Complainer? Angry? Helpful? Encourager? Discourager? Koko? Let’s let our actions reflect the fact that Jesus lives in us and through us.
Acts 4:36-37 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.