I've always sided with Barnabas in the "Barnabas vs. Paul" episode that takes place just before the 2nd missionary journey. Most will say "both were right." Many will say "Paul was right." I've taken the view over the years that Barnabas was right....or at least "more right." I will admit that because my favorite NT character is Barnabas there have been times I've been tempted to think of the Aposlte Paul as someone who ministerd without a visible love for his brothers. However this morning as I looked over Radio Bible Class Daily Bread, I was jolted a bit by the statement we read in Rom 9:3. Wow....talk about loving. Paul says he would be willing to be "cursed and cut off" for the sake of these with whom he loves and ministers. Talk about a great leader. This morning I'm asking myself, "would Barnabas say that?" or even better, "would I say that?"
No question, Paul is perhaps the strongest leader we read of in the NT text, perhaps the strongest God-loving leader in the whole of Scripture. In fairness he matches that leadersip with a love that in a sense gives him the moral and ethical right to be as firm as he often is. I think this is a good thought for leaders in the body of Christ today. Let's make sure that we are neither unloving leaders nor loving non-leaders.