Metaphysical meaning of Barnabas (mbd)
Barnabas, bär'-na-bas (Gk. from Heb.) --son of exhortation; son of divinely inspired speech, (i. e., excelling); son of prophecy; son of praise; son of consolation.
Meta. In Acts 4:36, 37, and 11:22-30, Joseph represents the imagination brought into expression through association with the word (Paul). The apostles renamed him Barnabas, which they interpret in the text to mean "Son of exhortation." As the imagination is the molder of the flexible substance of mind, so in the beginning of the Bible history of Barnabas are symbols that relate him to substance in its various forms. He was a Levite; the Levites had charge of the offerings. He had a field; he sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. The "field," the "money," the "feet," all refer to the substance side of Being.
Barnabas was a native of Cyprus, a large island in the northeastern portion of the Mediterranean. Cyprus means fairness, and in the individual consciousness it is in close touch with intellectual reasonings (the Greeks) and formulated theology (Antioch). The faculty of imagination is located in the front brain. It must become allied to wisdom, to fair, honest logic and reasoning, in order to become the son of exhortation. Barnabas "was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith." We find him always broad-minded, big of heart, and generous of soul. He was the right companion for Paul, who represents the word of the Spirit of truth. Barnabas believed in Paul and persuaded the apostles at Jerusalem that his change of heart was sincere. Spiritual imagination and fairness of mind cause us to realize and acknowledge the changes that take place in our thoughts as we turn from the fighting, resisting attitude to one of receptivity to Truth.
The church at Jerusalem heard that the Greeks were turning to Christianity, and it sent Barnabas to Antioch to investigate. Barnabas, when he saw the "grace of God, was glad; and he exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord." Spiritual imagination and foresight are always glad to see and to acknowledge the light reaching out to every avenue of man's being; they ever encourage the individual to adhere to the Lord, to hold fast to the good.