Wednesday, March 23 2011
Joses, pronounced in Greek as ee-o-sace, is the New Testament rendering of the Hebrew name (see Translation Of Translations) that itself was an abbreviation of the Hebrew form of Joseph (pronounced yo-safe). It was a name very familiar (a word meaning family) to Jesus Christ; His adopted father Joseph, and His actual biological brother, through Mary, Joses, had those names (Joses was very likely named after his father Joseph; see Mary's Other Children) i.e. "13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" (Matthew 13:55 KJV).
Another Joses is well known to Bible History, although more-often by the "surname" that was given to him by the apostles - Barnabas, a Levite from Cyprus who was among the first to become Christian after the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
"4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 4:35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
"Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry"
The Pharisee Saul had been one of the most deadly enemies of Christ and Christians until Christ struck him down on the road to Damascus (see Was Paul Among Them?). Thereafter, eventually known as Paul, he went on to become one of the greatest Christians that ever lived, and died, in the service of Christ. Having not long before been subject to Paul's persecutions, the people of Christ were understandably still fearful of him, since he had yet to prove himself ("they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple"). So then, the LORD assigned Barnabas to bring him into the fold; hence his new name, "son of consolation."
"9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
It was largely through the persecutions of pre-conversion Paul that "they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen," including up to Antioch. Paul had been a participant in Stephen's killing, as he later admitted: "22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him." (Acts 22:20 KJV). But most amazingly, among the first things that Paul was sent to do, with Barnabas, was to preach to them, what they had already very-well understood back when Paul had been persecuting and killing them for it. It wasn't hypocrisy; it was a miracle of healing a blind mind (see Paul's Blindness Lesson).
"11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 11:20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
"Barnabas and Saul" (note that the newly-converted Saul was still very much secondary to Barnabas) then returned to Jerusalem. While there, they joined with them "John, whose surname was Mark," the young man who would later write the "Gospel" book that bears his name. John/Mark was a nephew of Barnabas ("Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas" Colossians 4:10 KJV) and therefore also of Levite ancestry.
"12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied. 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark." (Acts 12:24-25 KJV)
Paul's famous first missionary journey (see Paul's First Missionary Journey) actually began as the journey of "Barnabas and Saul" to Cyprus, the home country of Barnabas. Notice also that "they had also John to their minister" - meaning only that John/Mark was their servant, which is actually all that "minister" means in the Holy Bible.
"13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 13:4 So they, being sent forth by The Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister." (Acts 13:1-5 KJV)
As Christ intended and proclaimed to Saul on the day of his conversion, Saul/Paul quickly grew into a preacher of Truth in his own right. The rapid understanding was enhanced by his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures that he already knew very well as a Pharisee, but couldn't "see" until the Holy Spirit gave him the light of understanding of his knowledge.
"13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. 13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 13:15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." (Acts 13:13-15 KJV)
Miraculous healings by "Barnabas and Paul" (notice that Saul was then becoming known as Paul) soon followed. In one incident at Lystra, the people there tried to worship Barnabas and Paul as the pagan gods Jupiter and Mercurius (names that modern-day scientists have foolishly used for the planets Jupiter and Mercury, as well as some space exploration programs), but the power of Paul's preaching was also becoming evident, as was the very sort of persecution that he once did to others - they "stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead" (the LORD may actually have resurrected the "dead" Paul, perhaps through Barnabas) however "the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe."
"14:8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: 14:9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 14:10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked [see also Healing The Lame].
It was also soon evident that Paul was being given to preach the Gospel to all people. "Paul and Barnabas" (notice that Saul was becoming known as Paul, and that he was also then spoken of before Barnabas - Barnabas had done his assigned task with Saul very well) then attended The Circumcision Council in Jerusalem.
"15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised [see Circumcision] after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 15:3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them." (Acts 15:1-4 KJV)
Paul's "outsider" status with the early church then became evident again, not as a persecutor of Christians, but unlike the those who were given to preach a nationalistic Christianity, Paul was given to preach to everyone; in the verses below, the King James Version use of "heathen" simply meant non-Israelite i.e. "gentile" (then, as now, there were as many "heathens" in Israel as anywhere else e.g. "33:9 So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen" 2 Chronicles 33:9 KJV; see Manasseh Of Judah).
"2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." (Galatians 2:9 KJV)
As naturally happens when a teacher has done his job well, as Barnabas surely did with Paul, eventually Barnabas and Paul parted in their service to the LORD. Barnabas had taught Paul how to walk in the Truth - and to stand strong in it.
"15:36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 15:37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 15:38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 15:39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 15:40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches." (Acts 15:36-41 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) Why is it that most Levites settled in the southern kingdom of Judah, and thereafter became known as "Jews" rather than Levites? (b) Why wasn't Jesus Christ a Levite?
This Day In History, March 23
1324: German emperor Louis IV was excommunicated by Pope John XXII (see Emperors and Popes).
1534: Pope Clement declared that the marriage of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon was still in effect. The marriage was ended in Britain the year before, and Henry had then married Anne Boleyn. To accommodate his repeated marriages and divorces, Henry eventually created the Church of England with himself as the head.
1657: France and England formed an alliance against Spain.
1801: Russian Czar Paul I was assassinated.
1808: Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Joseph took the throne of Spain.
1849: After the Austrians had been victorious at Novara, Charles Albert of Sardinia abdicated in favor of Victor Emmanuel II.
1877: John Doyle Lee, a Mormon fanatic, was executed by firing squad for masterminding the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in which 127 Arkansas Methodists bound for California were killed by Mormon settlers and Paiute Indians.
1918: The immense German artillery gun, "Big Bertha," shelled Paris from a distance of 75 miles / 120 kilometers.
1919: Mussolini founded fascist party.
1925: Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution in public schools in the state. Teacher John Scopes ignored the ban and was later tried in what became known as "The Scopes Monkey Trial" (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
1933: The German Reichstag (Parliament) passed an "enabling law" that gave Hitler and the Nazi Party the sweeping dictatorial powers they had been seeking (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1966: Archbishop of Canterbury Arthur Michael Ramsey met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in Rome - the first meeting between the heads of the two churches in 400 years.
1983: Dr. Barney Clark, a retired dentist, died 112 days after being the first human to receive a mechanical heart.
2001: The Russian space station Mir was brought down out of orbit after 15 years. It burned up in re-entry and crashed into the Pacific Ocean.