Barnarbas, sent Advent 2 men scatter; God sends

13 Dec

Barnarbas, sent- Advent 2 – Men scatter; God sends

“They sent Barnarbas to Antioch…” Acts 11: 22

Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem for a census. Pulled, scattered by authorities from their Nazareth home, they end in a cave, a manger, homeless. And so were believers moved from their Jerusalem home, persecuted by religious authorities; scattered.

Men in these authorities desired control and power; they wanted to destroy new life. Yet God formed a strong fellowship among the homeless in Antioch. They grew in numbers, belief and loving desire to know Jesus more. Under oppression and censure the generous apostles of Jerusalem had to send help; the best of the apostles among them, Barnarbas.

Vines’ Greek New Testament defines (send)

‘Send ‘ as – apostello lit., “to send forth” (apo, ” from”), akin to apostolos, “an apostle,” denotes (a) “to send on service, or with ..

The Church in Antioch needed this apostle as Acts 11 tells us,

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch,spreading the word only among Jews.20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

Why then was Barnarbas sent?

Simply, he looked at hearts; he saw and felt the people and was glad and joyful. He felt the homeless of Antioch and he became a ‘home’ for them- a person and a place of teaching and listening; a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit; he was an apostles’ apostle; a servants’ servant.

In this place Antioch, where Christians are first named and called, Barnarbas lives as a ‘Christ’ a sent one, ‘a little Christ’ among scattered refugees so they could feel at home.

Whether in a cave or a city; Egypt or Bethlehem; among Magi or shepherds; Jesus came -was sent- to show us how to not just get to home but be a home, a sending, a Barnarbas for all.

This advent be a home, a ‘sending’ for another. Hold a door; say a kind word; give a gift; share a talent- go; … let the Spirit of the season send you

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