Read: Acts 9:26-31
But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. (v. 27)
I once knew someone whose earlier days were full of embarrassing drunken displays and obscenities. Then one day I heard that this man had become a pastor. My response was disbelief. Yet, according to reliable reports, he is now serving the Lord and winning people for Christ.
The apostles in Jerusalem faced a similar reaction to Saul. After being in Damascus for a time, this former persecutor travelled to Jerusalem and attempted to join the disciples. It didn’t go well. They were afraid of him. Who can blame them? But then a man named Barnabas stepped forward and spoke up on Saul’s behalf. Where would Saul have been without Barnabas? Barnabas, whose name means “son of encouragement,” was indeed a great encouragement to Saul. His reputation with the disciples gave Saul a standing in the early church that he would need in order to fulfill his task as a missionary of the gospel.
Saul was receiving just what he needed. He now had two supporters: Barnabas, who took him to the disciples and spoke on his behalf, and Ananias, who extended a Christian welcome with the words “Brother Saul.” We all need people like that! We sometimes call them advocates. Thank God for them! —John Koedyker
As you pray, thank God for those people who supported and advocated for you.
About the Author
Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.