The names we give to people and things are of profound importance. God made that crystal clear in Exodus 3:13-15 as our almighty God told us His most holy and sacred name: YHWH pronounced Yahweh, meaning “I am who I am.”


Joseph (nicknamed Barnabas by the Apostles) played a significant role in the development of Saul (nicknamed Paul).

Acts 4:36: Joseph was given the nickname Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement” or “Son of Comfort.” He was a Cypriot Jew who, inspired by the teachings of Jesus, sold a field he owned and donated the proceeds to the apostles to support the early Christian community in Jerusalem. This act of generosity demonstrated his commitment to the Christian cause and his willingness to share his wealth.

One of the most notable aspects of Barnabas’s role in the New Testament is his partnership with the Apostle Paul (formerly known as Saul). Barnabas was instrumental in accepting Paul into the Christian community after his conversion, as many were skeptical of Paul due to his earlier persecution of Christians. 

Barnabas vouched for Paul’s sincerity and traveled with him on several missionary journeys, spreading the Christian message to various regions.


I believe that Barnabas significantly contributed to Paul’s growth through mentoring, coaching, advising, encouragement, and more.

Barnabas and Paul’s missionary efforts took them to places like Cyprus, Antioch, and beyond, where they preached and established Christian communities.


The name “Paul” is of Latin origin, and it means “small” or “humble.” It’s derived from the Latin name “Paulus,” which was commonly used in the Roman Empire.

The Apostle Paul, whose original Hebrew name was “Saul,” adopted the name “Paul” as his Roman name during his missionary journeys among non-Jewish (Gentile) communities.

The significance of the name change from “Saul” to “Paul” is often interpreted as symbolic of his mission. “Saul” was his Hebrew name, associated with his Jewish heritage, while “Paul” was a Roman name, making him more relatable to the Gentiles he was trying to reach with the Christian message. It symbolizes his identity shift from a zealous Pharisee and persecutor of Christians to an apostle to the Gentiles and a humble servant of Christ.


I will close with questions for you:

What does that name mean for you?

How does it translate into your daily routine and actions?

What changes does God, the Holy Spirit, living inside you, want to make for you to better live up to your name?

BARNABAS encourages me to embrace greater generosity. PAUL inspires me to cultivate humility. YHWH compels me to stand in awe of our Master—the perfect, majestic, and loving Triune God spanning all ages.

Your aspiring servant,

Daniel M.

August 29, 2023

POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. Note: For ease of reference, all scriptures quoted are from the NIV.

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