The Son of Consolation
Acts 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Intro: One of my favorite characters in the Bible for a variety of reasons is a man by the name of Barnabas. His name means: “son of rest”
CONSOLATION: a calling near, summons, (esp. for help)
2) importation, supplication, entreaty
3) exhortation, admonition, encouragement
4) consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment
As the definition of the word in the Greek demonstrates, the word CONSOLATION is used interchangeably for multiple words that are each unique but somewhat synonymous.
- Supplication is a word that speaks of an humble prayer or intreaty. Prayer is referred to by this word quite often.
- Exhortation means discourse, or to address conveying urgent advice or recommendations. Preaching is described by this word many times in the Scripture.
- Admonition means counsel, advice, or caution; a gentle reproof. Often used in scripture when referring to godly parenting. (…but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.)
- Encouragement means bolstering the courage of the discouraged
- Consolation means to alleviate or lessen the grief, sorrow, or disappointment of; give solace or comfort:
I’d like for us to focus on that particular meaning of the word.
The ministry of consolation is necessary in a local church.
Every church should have a large number of people that take this ministry serious and practice it regularly.
The ministry of consolation is manifested in a variety of ways.
Barnabas demonstrated the ministry of consolation in several ways. Let’s look at a few of them:
I. His was known for his Generosity
- Acts 4:36, 37 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
He was a Levite. He was familiar with the role his forefathers played in the worship.
It was the Levites that carried, set up and operated the Tabernacle.
It was the Levites that did the work of the ministry.
Even though they were no longer in the Old Testament, service was still important to him.
In the Old Testament, the Levites offered sacrifices for the sins of the people.
In the New Testament, Barnabas, a Levite, made personal sacrifices for the needs of the people. (see vs. 35)
In the Old Testament, the Levites lived off of the donations of the rest of the people.
In the New Testament, Barnabas, a Levite, made donations for people that didn’t have anything to give.
He got under the burden of the need of the church and the people in the church.
He made personal contributions to help others.
One of the ways you can be involved in the ministry of consolation is to give to those in need.
II. He was known for his Gentleness
- Acts 9:26-30 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
- 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
- 28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
- 29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.
- 30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
When others were afraid of Saul, Barnabas stood up for him and dispelled their fears.
He was able to do that because he had personally spent time with Saul and had seen the transformation in his life.
Vs. 28 says he was with him coming and going out.
His handling of Saul was one of gentleness and kindness; not doubt, fear and accusations.
Somewhere at the beginning of Saul’s conversion, Barnabas extended a hand of friendship and got to know him.
The ministry of consolation starts when you take time to get to know people and familiarize yourself with their life.
Barnabas knew Saul’s testimony and because of it, he was able to vouch for him.
How many “Saul’s” has come through Calvary and we missed an opportunity to add them to our church because nobody took the time to get to know them and learn what God had done in their life?
III. He was known for his Godliness
- 20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
- 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
- 22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
- 23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
- 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
- 25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
- 26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
The Bible is clear: Barnabas was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.
That is a mouthful!
Notice the results of that… “and much people was added unto the Lord.”
- Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
One of the most powerful ways to be a “consolation” to the people of God is to be an example of godliness.
IV. He was known for his Going
- Acts 13:1, 2 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Out of all those in the church of Antioch, God saw fit to call out Barnabas and Saul to GO.
He could have easily said “Lord, I sold my land and gave all the money to the needs of the church people.”
He could have easily said, “Lord, I’ve done my part in helping disciple Saul and build the church of Antioch.”
But instead, he was willing to GO.
He went on at least 2 different missionary journeys; one with Paul, and another with John Mark back to his homeland of Cyprus.
Conclusion: The Ministry of Consolation is important. But there’s more to it than hugging someone’s neck and saying I love you. It is a life of Generosity, Gentleness, Godliness and Going forth with the Gospel.