Plymouth UCC tour of the Vatican:  "Following the Footsteps of Paul"
Plymouth UCC tour of the Vatican: “Following the Footsteps of Paul”

My tour of Greece and Rome, “Following the Footsteps of Paul” has ended. We are all back in America, safe and sound. The trip was exceptionally spiritual because at every place we visited where Paul preached, taught and advocated that Jesus Christ was the Son of God we read passages from the Bile that directly related. We visited Athens, Philiipi, Corinth, Thessaloniki and Rome. One person whom we did not really talk about was Barnabas. Barnabas was the person that the Apostles in Jerusalem selected to minister to the non-Jews in Antioch, Syria. When the original Apostles heard that Paul had converted from Judaism to a believer in Jesus as Lord and Savior they were amazed. Many did not trust Paul. However, it was Barnabas who stood up for Paul and introduced him to the founders of the church. Barnabas later asked Paul to assist him in the founding of the ministry to the non-Jews in Antioch.

To me, the relationship between Paul and Barnabas is interesting and relevant even in our world today because at some point in each of our lives we will need a “Barnabas” type person to introduce us, vouch for us, and intercede for us. None of us can make it through life alone. Barnabas breaks the ice for Paul with the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. Which roll will you play for Christ? Will you be the Barnabas or will you be Paul?   Although Barnabas kind of vouches for Paul and in the beginning is distinguished with his name being read first, after a while it is Paul who is listed before Barnabas. Which of these two me do you identify with? Thanks for reading this post. I hope you will share it with someone else who is growing in their faith.

Acts 11: 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.” [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. When has someone stood up for you?
  2. What aspects of the relationship between Barnabas and Paul fascinate you?

Prayer:

Lord, make me an aggressive, effective, and powerful witness for you. Grant me an intuitive vision that I might recognize the spiritual gifts within others. Help make me unafraid to introduce people to one another. Bless me with relationships that are wholesome. Endow me with the strength to stand up for those who are shut out and left out of society. Lord, make me unashamed to tell the world what you mean to me. When I was down you lifted me up. When I was lost, you found me. When I was blind you helped me to see. Lord, make me an effective teacher. Lord, make me a convincing preacher. Lord, make me a better listener. Lord, make me a powerful witness for you.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Hood at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about Nicholas Hood III Ministries at http://www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ac 11:25–26). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.