Today’s Reading: Mark 6:7-13
Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 9:1-18; John 13:21-28
So they (the apostles) went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them. (Mark 6:12-13)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Barnabas, which means “the son of encouragement,” was a contemporary of Paul’s and was originally from Cyprus. Through his generosity, he sold his land and offered all the proceeds to the preaching of the Holy Gospel. He was a cousin of Mark the evangelist, whose text we consider today: “So they (the apostles) went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them” (Mark 6:12-13).
As described in Acts 1-12, the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas up the coast to Antioch. While there, Barnabas preached and taught just as your pastor preaches and teaches, of the Lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world. Barnabas even grabbed up an ornery, raucous persecutor of the new Christians, a man by the name of Saul, also known as Paul in the Greek, and convinced the frightened disciples that Paul’s conversion and Baptism of Saul (Acts 9 and 13).
Such is the way of the Lord, that during the years of His ministry He sent the apostles out two by two. So it was also in the days after His ascension that Barnabas and Paul were sent out to preach and teach, and to confirm every word they preached with the signs they did. Yet they were quick to assert that they were not gods, but men like their listeners (Acts 14:15). “We bring you good news,” they said, “that you should turn from these worthless idols to the living God who made all things.”
Through many years Barnabas continued, finding himself back again in Cyprus, where he would labor until his death by stoning. Barnabas, the son of encouragement, endured hardships and traveled widely. God sustained him in his vocations, just as God is always with you as you carry out your own vocations. Thanks be to God for the encouragement He gives to others through you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, Your faithful servant Barnabas sought not his own renown but gave generously of his life and substance for the encouragement of the disciples and their ministry. Grant that we may follow his example in lives given to charity and the proclamation of the Gospel; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the commemoration of St. Barnabas)
-Rev. Adam Degroot is pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, NM.
Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.