Acts 4:36 (NASB)
36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement),
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. – Antoine de Saint Exupery
“’Ranchoddas [Rancho] Shamaldas Chanchad.’ He was as unique as his name,” the first voice that we hear in the movie 3 Idiots was the voice of one of “Rancho’s” closest buddies on school campus, Farhan Qureshi. He was telling his audience, the movie goers, how he cannot shake off the memory of this man in his life.
It was his lifelong quest to find him after disappearing without a word or trace after their graduation day. He was determined to locate him that he even created a “scene” in the plane just so that he won’t lose an opportunity of meeting him again at last. Wondering what “scene” that would be? Try watching it.
Rancho was a brilliant guy. He was a consistent honor student, always on top of his class, and hardworking like the rest of his classmates. But what was “unique” about him, as Farhan might perceive, was that when he is at work, he is more at play [emphasis added].
Rancho, instead of seeing himself at work and keeping himself in line, is in love with life. He was like a flowing wind; a soaring kite flying freely in the air. He was like a shade under the scorching sun; like an oasis in a vast desert offering relief.
But there was another thing about him. He was like a medicine for a wounded heart. He was not only a man who was the best in his field but he brought out the best in others as well—the very thing that made him unforgettable to his buddies [and enemies alike]. Just like himself, he did not put others in line. He caused them to be in love with life. He helps his friends with their work but he adds play to it. Bringing out the best in others takes a great heart and keen eyesight that are sensitive to things not yet realized. Antoine de Saint Exupery said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
Joseph also brought out the best in others wherever he may be. But if we are wondering “which Joseph” that would be, it would be the one who is found in Acts 4. He was called Barnabas by the apostles and it means son of Encouragement. It was a nick-name that was given to him because it reflects how he treats others.
Two of the most important figure in Scriptures who felt his heart and concern were Apostle Paul and John Mark.
Paul’s earlier years made him notorious among churches. He made havoc of the church, entering every house and dragging off men and woman, committing them to prison [Acts 8:3 NKJV]. But after having his Damascus Road Experience, it was Barnabas who first believed in the sincerity of his transformation when others would not. It took time for others to believe that he was indeed a changed man. It was through Barnabas that others began to trust Paul. He played as the bridge builder. He was a powerful reminder of the value of being a spiritual carpenter in a world full of spiritual and emotional termites.
The other one is John Mark, a young man who was perilously close to becoming a throwaway [Acts 15:36-40]. But then Barnabas demonstrated patience and personal care.
Years later when Paul was already old apparently heard the news that the Lord was with John Mark in spite of his past failure. At this time he was already a changed man. What used to be a deserter before became a man who is responsible and reliable. He said once to Timothy:
2 Timothy 4:11 (TLB)
11 Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for I need him.
Barnabas, a man who brought out the best in others.
He was like shade in scorching sun
He was like an oasis in a vast desert
He was like the medicine for wounded heart
He was like a carefree cloud
He was our friend
Where he vanished, let’s find him
– [Part of the theme song of 3 Idiots]