28 April 2024 5th Sunday of Easter

28 April 2024 5th Sunday of Easter

 When he (Saul) had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus.

From Acts 9:26-31, NRSV

Since his conversion on the road to Damascus, Saul had spent about three years preaching the gospel in Arabia. By then, he understandably wanted to associate with the other disciples and so he came to Jerusalem. The reception he received was not a friendly or welcoming one. It is probable that the disciples did not know of Saul’s conversion and were therefore naturally suspicious that this man who was well known for persecuting Christians was now claiming that he himself was one. Without the intervention of Barnabas, Saul may not have met with the apostles and his future ministry could have been curtailed. We do not know what Barnabas saw that others did not see in Saul. We do know that Barnabas’ name means “son of encouragement”. It was Barnabas who was able to encourage the apostles to see Saul’s sincerity and to include him in their company. It was the same Barnabas who was later to accompany Paul in his mission.


    • Why do you think Barnabas accepted Saul when others were afraid of him?
    • Who is responsible for welcoming others into our church communities?

Pray today for all involved in welcoming ministries and consider how you may be a son or daughter of encouragement.

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