“And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated
Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,” (Acts 4:36, NKJV)
Many of us were given, what we call, “nicknames” when we were young. Some of
these nicknames have stuck with us even through adulthood. There are some
people whose legal names we do not even know because we have called those
individuals by their “nicknames” for so long.
This verse lets us know that nicknames are not a new phenomenon. There was a
disciple of Christ whose “legal” name was Joses, but was given the nickname,
“Barnabas.” This nickname, unlike those many of us were given, was not given to
him because it was cute or catchy, but because of his character. Joses was an
encourager. He was one who spoke positively to and about other people. Joses
was the person you want by your side when you are going through difficult times.
He was a person who edified others.
I wonder how many of us could be nicknamed “Barnabas”? Are you an
encourager of others or are you one who is negative and destructive in your
dealings with other people? Do you uplift or do you tear down? Are you positive
when faced with difficult situations or are you negative? Only those who edify and
lift the spirits of others can carry the name Barnabas. Today, the question is,
COULD WE NICKNAME YOU “BARNABAS”?