“But Barnabas Took Him”
“But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of the Lord” Acts 9:27. Saul had a problem … and he had no one to blame but himself. The last time he had been in Jerusalem, he had been a radical, up-and-coming student of Gamaliel who was eager to make a name for himself. When Jesus’ disciple, Stephan, was stoned, the cloaks of the executioners were laid at his feet while he gave approval to his death. Then, he was instrumental in the “great persecution” and ravaged the church from house to house. And he had left town with letters from the high priest to do the same in Damascus. That was when he met Jesus and eventually became a disciple himself, as powerful a force for God’s kingdom as he had been against it … but no one in Jerusalem knew this. So, it’s understandable that the Christians there “were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.” It took the one nicknamed “the son of encouragement” to show Christ’s love by introducing him to the ones he had tried to destroy. In this world, be a Barnabas.