Barnabas the Apostle

In the city of Antioch, large numbers of adults were coming to faith in Jesus Christ. The apostles sent a leader to guide their growth as disciples.



The apostles chose Barnabas as their ambassador. They had him travel more than 300 miles to the city of Antioch.

Why did they choose Barnabas?

His original name was Joseph. But the apostles gave him the nickname of Barnabas:

Acts 4:36.  Joses, who by the apostles was also called Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race,

The word Barnabas means “Son of Encouragement.” We might call him “Mr. Encourager.”

Barnabas ministered to people by encouraging them. His leadership consisted of encouragement.

It was Barnabas who introduced Saul of Tarsus to the Apostles:

Acts 9:27. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.

Upon arriving in Antioch, Barnabas exercised his ministry of encouragement. Then even greater numbers of adults came to faith in Christ:

Acts 11:22-24. The report concerning them came to the ears of the assembly which was in Jerusalem. They sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch, 23 who, when he had come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad. He exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should remain near to the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and many people were added to the Lord.

Barnabas remained in Antioch for a year as their Encourager-In-Chief. And the congregation flourished!

How can you grow in the ministry of encouraging others?

The Memorial of Barnabas the Apostle is observed each year on June 11.


Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.