Under His Wing
18 October 2016
Reading: Job 3; Acts 8-9
26 Back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t trust him one bit. 27 Then Barnabas took him under his wing. He introduced him to the apostles and stood up for him, told them how Saul had seen and spoken to the Master on the Damascus Road and how in Damascus itself he had laid his life on the line with his bold preaching in Jesus’ name. 28 After that he was accepted as one of them, going in and out of Jerusalem with no questions asked, uninhibited as he preached in the Master’s name. (Acts 9:26-28 MSG)
Saul of Tarsus, who after the stoning of Stephen had become a driving force behind the persecution of Jesus’ followers, had a miraculous encounter with Jesus the Christ that changed his life forever in an instant! After a visit from brave Ananias and baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, and healing for his eyes, He immediately began telling his Jesus Story in Damascus. When the opposition got too hot, his fellow Christ-followers sent him back to Jerusalem. The big problem with Saul wanting to join the church in Jerusalem was that Saul had been a full-on Jesus-hater and the main threat to Jesus’ followers.
Saul’s conversion was genuine, but everyone was afraid of him and didn’t trust him. Barnabas was a risk-taking second-chance-giver who took Saul under his wing, stood up for him in front of all the other believers, and gave Saul a chance to tell his story and join the fellowship. That’s all it took, and Saul was off and running, telling his Jesus Story every chance he got.
Saul of Tarsus eventually became Paul the Apostle – church planter, miracle worker, leadership developer, missionary, and author of most of the New Testament of the Bible.
How different the story might have been if one man, Barnabas the Encourager, hadn’t taken him under his wing and given him a second chance!
Father, I want to be an encourager and a risk-taking second-chance-giver. I want to have the attitude in my heart and the time in my schedule to “take someone under my wing.” I know this is part of what you’re working on with me in this season. Help me to recognize your voice and your hand in the process that is at work. Help me to help others better. I want to be more like my hero, Barnabas! Amen.