When Barnabas Blew It

Yep. THAT Barnabas.

The one given the nickname “Son of Encouragement” by the apostles (Acts 4:36-37).

The one chosen by Paul and the church in Antioch to go with Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:1-3).

The one empathetic with John Mark, responsible for influencing Mark to write his Gospel (Acts 15:36-41).

THAT Barnabas also fell into temptation to deny the sufficiency of the Gospel.

                                  Then the rest of the Jews joined his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. (Galatians 2:13)

Barnabas, along with Peter, made it appear to the Gentiles that their “lesser” (read: “non-Jewish”) nationality made them inferior. Barnabas gave the impression that national Jews were the true children of God. This, of course, denies the sufficiency of faith in Jesus alone as the way to be a genuine child of God.

Barnabas was a hypocrite. Barnabas was led astray. Barnabas made it appear that more than “just faith” in Jesus was necessary for salvation. Barnabas was guilty of communicating rank heresy.

At first glance, I wish texts like this weren’t in the Bible. Why did Paul have to bring this up, so 2,000 years later we know a sin Barnabas committed? Why do we need to know this? Can’t we just remember our heroes for what they are . . . heroes?

This is what makes the Bible come alive. If you consider this instance for a moment, it will set you free. You see, Barnabas did mess up. Barnabas did sin. Barnabas did commit heresy. Barnabas was a hypocrite who caved into the pressure of pleasing people.

But that didn’t limit God from continuing to use him. It didn’t stop God. Barnabas’ past did not limit God from using him in the future.

Was Barnabas wrong? Yes.

Did Barnabas need to repent? Yes.

Did Barnabas need to stop doing that? Immediately.

But was that the “third strike” from God? Was Barnabas shelved, no longer available for use? No way. You could make a pretty good argument that were it not for Barnabas, we would not have Matthew, Mark, or Luke’s Gospel.

What sin in your past is the enemy using to keep you from obeying what Jesus is calling you to do next?

What lie are you believing that is keeping you from moving forward in your faith walk with Christ?

If Jesus died and rose again (which He did), then you and I follow a living Rabbi who has put to death any and all actions that keep us from having a rich and vibrant relationship with Him.

Don’t let your past keep you from what the Father wants to do in the future.


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