What Drives Us

Today’s reading is Acts 15: 36-41

rootedchristToday’s passage is another reason why Barnabas is one of my favorite Biblical characters.  He and Paul have a disagreement,  a real one.  This disagreement is not a pretend one, it is real and it is sharp.  It causes these two dear friends to part ways. Think about all they have been through together. Think of how Barnabas believed in Paul. Think of all the help that he gave to Paul. Think of how this must have hurt both of them.

But they were both driven by their convictions and both convictions are right.  Paul was driven by the necessity of the Gospel. They had work to do. They had churches to plant. There was much that the Gospel demanded that they do.  Paul knew he could trust Barnabas. But Mark, on the other hand, he didn’t trust.  Mark had already failed them once.  Paul could not allow another failure. The work of the Gospel was too great.  If Paul could not trust you, you would not be useful to him and his mission. This isn’t bad. This is who Paul is; this is what his mission is.

Barnabas, though, was driven by something else.  He was driven by the relationships and beliefs that he had in others.  He believed in Paul. Look what happened.  He believed in Mark. Look what happens. Because of Barnabas’ belief we have most of the New Testament.  We have not only Paul’s work, but Mark wrote the first Gospel and was a major influence on Matthew and Luke (and then Luke wrote Acts as well).  Because of Barnabas, we have all this.

Paul was driven by his mission. Barnabas was driven by his compassion (which was his mission as well).  The church needs both. Today, be who God has called and made you to be.

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