In Acts there is a very prominent Christian named “Joseph.” Yet I imagine that few if any here could tell me anything about Joseph and what he did. The reason we do not know Joseph is because he is identified by another name, descriptive of his character (Acts 4:36). Just as James and John had been called the “sons of thunder” for their fiery impatience (Mark 3:17), Joseph was called “Barnabas” or the “son of encouragement” for his great ability.
Encouragement is generally thought to be a call or summons (especially for help). There is no single word in English to represent the Greek word so it is variously interpreted as “exhortation,” “encouragement,” “consolation,” and “comfort.” “Exhortation” expresses the act, and “consolation” expresses the effect.
Every Christian needs encouragement, and every Christian can be a Barnabas. Paul said, “Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another …” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). How can you encourage this week?