Barnabas - Harmony
Acts 9:27 Paul was the enemy that got saved. But the Christians in Jerusalem were skeptical and did not trust his conversion. They thought it was a trick to infiltrate their ranks. Barnabas stepped in to pave the way for Paul to be received among the brethren.
Imagine the conversation Barnabas would have had with the elders. Barnabas: Paul has become a Christian! Elders: It’s a trick to infiltrate our church. Barnabas: Give him a chance. Elders: Look at his record. Barnabas: That’s his past. Elders: His past was just a short time ago. Barnabas: Jesus forgives our past. Elders: Let him prove himself first. Barnabas: He had a real experience with Christ. Elders: How do you know? Barnabas: Ananias told me he prayed for him and he received his sight. Elders: What if he backslides? Barnabas: I’ll work with him.
Years later when John Mark quit while on Paul and Barnabas’ first missionary journey Paul refused to take John Mark on their second journey.
We are not told why John Mark left.
1- Maybe it was because he realized that being in the ministry was dangerous.
2- John Mark may have gotten home sick. 3- Paul may have been too demanding
Acts 15:36-41 When Paul and Barnabas planned their second missionary journey Barnabas wanted to take John Mark. The conversation may have gone something like this:
B: Let’s take John Mark with us. P: Are you kidding? He quit on us! B: But that is in the past. P: We can’t trust someone who is a novice. I don’t think he’s ready for ministry. B: I think he is. P: You just want him to come because he’s your cousin. B: That is hitting below the belt, Paul. P: Jesus said, "No man who puts his hand to the plow and turns back is worthy." B: Jesus also said He would forgive those who repent. P: He’s too new. B: He needs experience. How else can he learn? P: We can’t let him hurt the work of the Lord. B: We can’t afford to hurt him if we refuse to use him.
They were good legitimate arguments and counter arguments.
We only have limited wisdom at best. Even saints can mess up.
We can be on opposite sides of an issue and still be brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Barnabas and Paul did not see eye to eye. It looked like an impasse but God can work things out. Barnabas decided to go on a missionary journey of his own and took John Mark with him. Paul took Silas and went on his second missionary journey.
Friction and frustration is not a problem for God. It is an opportunity. God can work through disagreement but He needs willing vessels.
Barnabas could have taken the view, “Paul is unchristian and shows no mercy” Paul could have taken the view, “Barnabas is too soft for the ministry. Don’t judge just start trusting in the Lord.
Who was right and who was wrong? It doesn’t matter because Paul later admitted he needed John Mark in 2 Tim 4:11.
And later Paul would write, “All things work together for good to those who are called of the Lord . . ."
The bottom line: Two missionary journeys resulted from their dissension. And don’t forget John Mark was restored and later wrote the Gospel of Mark.
We can’t avoid failure. Children don’t start off walking without first falling. Failure is inevitable. We need a Savior who can walk us through failure. Like Barnabas, Jesus doesn’t give up on us. He works with us when we fall.
That is what we need to discover about Jesus. He can bring harmony back into our life. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and we need to learn how to allow peace to work in our lives.
Song: “Let there be Peace on earth . . . “