When we are afraid it can set off a chain reaction in our bodies. We become paralyzed by the fear and it stops us from doing what we normally would do. It can make us deny our motivations and go back to our old ways. For the early Christians after Stephen’s persecution and death many moved away from Jerusalem. They continued to preach but they didn’t want to stay in Jerusalem and face possible death. There were a group of believers who settled in Antioch and they didn’t keep the message only for the Jews, area Greeks also became believers. “The hand of the Lord was on them” and a great number turned to the Lord.
Barnabas was sent from the church in Jerusalem to check out the new believers in Antioch. Barnabas saw the grace of God on the Antiochian believers. He rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart. He was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. A large number of people were added to the church. He also went to Tarsus to find Saul and he brought him back to Antioch and for a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people.
It was at Antioch where the believers were first called Christians. To be a Barnabas is a high compliment. It is someone who is an encourager, a faith builder, filled with the Holy Spirit and teacher and a Christ follower/Christian.