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The Wisest Fool (4 of 16)
Barnabas-The Good Man Behind a Great Man
Clarence E. Macartney
When Paul and Barnabas healed the lame man at Lystra, the
people concluded that they were gods come down to visit the
earth, and if the apostles had not restrained them, they
would have offered a sacrifice to them. The people called
Paul "Mercury," because he was the chief speaker, but they
called Barnabas "Jupiter." The superior presence and mien
of Barnabas evidently greatly impressed these fickle people
of Lystra. In the New Testament narrative Barnabas has a
certain noble and majestic way about him.
This is a sermon I found at Antioch, when leaning over the
parapet of the bridge and watching the snow-colored Orontes
flowing rapidly through the city toward the sea. I found it
on the broken rocks of the quay at Selucia, where the
world's greatest voyage commenced when Paul and Barnabas
set sail for Cyprus. I found it in the marketplace of
Salamis on Cyprus, where they first preached on that
island, and where, according to the tradition, Barnabas
afterward suffered martyrdom, being stoned by the enraged
populace. I found it when passing through Antioch of
Pisidia; and on the broad mountain-guarded plains of
Galatia; at Iconium and at Lystra and Derbe; and at
Attalia, the lonely harbor on the southern coast of Asia
Minor, whence the apostles sailed on their return journey.
Everywhere one goes where Paul went, one thinks of his
earliest, and in some respects greatest, companion in the
work of the Gospel.
There are mountains which, if separated from other and
higher mountains, would impress one as lofty peaks; but
when seen in the company of Pike's Peak or Mount Everest or
Mount McKinley they are not impressive. Barnabas had the
misfortune, if you can call it such, of appearing in
history by the side of Paul. And who in comparison with
that mountainous man will not seem of little stature? But
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