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. 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. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 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.
Word really spreads fast in our world with all the technology available to us. I have to laugh as my kids drill me with their questions. “Mom, did you have a computer when you were young? Did you have an iPad? Did you have a cell phone?” Of course, the answer to all those questions are “no.” How in the world did my parents and I survive the teen years? How did my parents know where I was? I’ll tell you how—my mother, along with all my friends’ mothers where in cahoots together to make sure their children were where they needed to be. We knew better than to ever lie, our parents believed in the death penalty. It was a good system to protect our testimony and it worked for us.
Remember Barnabas in Acts 4:36? The one who sold the land and gave the apostles the money from the sale? He had quite the godly testimony with the church and the Jerusalem church sent him so they could see for themselves all that was happening there—call it a mission’s trip. Barnabas was thrilled, and probably especially so since he was a Jew from Cyprus, and again, it is recorded that many were coming to Christ. Barnabas thinks it is time to bring Saul to Antioch to see what is going on. He finds him in Tarsus (which was no small task since Tarsus was about 100 miles away, and that is if you went by boat, by land it would be even more difficult) and brings him back to Antioch. They teach the people for a year. Obviously, the believers were growing spiritually, as they became known as “Christians” or like Christ.
So, the obvious question for this passage is… How is your testimony? Do others see that your talk matches up with your lifestyle? Are you truly “like Christ, or is your Christianity just talk? We may be able to fool our friends or even our parents (hardly anyone can fool their children), but we can never ever fool our Lord.
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
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