And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles feet (Acts 4:36,37).
The apostles renamed this unique servant to match his God-given gift of building up others. Lets look at this trait in action. When Saul of Tarsus was converted to become the Apostle Paul, there were many believers who were skeptical about his transformation. Indeed, they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple (Acts 9:26). It was Barnabas who came alongside as a comforter to Paul and who served as a character witness for the acceptance of Paul by those at Jerusalem.
The other side of this behavior of consoling others is that of exhorting others. After the church acknowledged that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles also, Barnabas was sent out to Antioch to minister to new believers in that city. Upon arriving, he saw evidence that the grace of God was exhibited in the lives of these believers, and exhorted both believers and non-believers to cleave unto the Lord (Acts 11:23). As a result, much people was added unto the Lord (v.24).
It is evident that Barnabas could be such a great consoler because he himself was filled with the Holy Spirit. His life and testimony radiated the presence of Christ, so much so that Barnabas was referred to as a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith (v.24). His walk with God was so committed, that as he was chosen for missionary work, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away (Acts 13:2,3). KBC