Paul the Apostle: His Feud with Barnabas

Paul The Apostle New Series.png

Family Meal Discussion

Greeting + Meal

Take the first 45 minutes to gather into the home, share some food, listen to each other.


Transition from the dining table to a more relaxed area, like the living room, if possible.

This weeks story to share:

   Last week’s story was about his feud with Peter, and that message was all about Grace,Today we are talking about his Feud with Barnabas and this message is more about Paul’s need for LOVE!

   We are going to continue this series with a message called, “His Feud with Barnabas.”

   The feud between Paul and Barnabas was actually a few years after his one with Peter and it was not worth fighting over like the one with Peter.

   After a few days of this, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit all our friends in each of the towns where we preached the Word of God. Let’s see how they’re doing.”

   Barnabas wanted to take John along, the John nicknamed Mark. But Paul wouldn’t have him; he wasn’t about to take along a quitter who, as soon as the going got tough, had jumped ship on them in Pamphylia. Tempers flared, and they ended up going their separate ways: Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus; Paul chose Silas and, offered up by their friends to the grace of the Master, went to Syria and Cilicia to build up muscle and sinew in those congregations. (Acts 15:36-41 msg)

   Even after they had this feud, they both went on and God used them.

   Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.

  You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way. (James 4:1-3 msg)

   One High mark of maturity in your life is love! It seemed like Barnabas had this more in his life in this moment than Paul because of how he wants to give John Mark another chance, when Paul is like, NO WAY!

   When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. (1 Corinthians 13:11 msg)

  When the dust settles from your feud, you generally see what matters! He grew up.

   Get here as fast as you can. Demas, chasing fads, went off to Thessalonica and left me here. Crescens is in Galatia province, Titus in Dalmatia. Luke is the only one here with me. Bring Mark with you; he’ll be my right-hand man since I’m sending Tychicus to Ephesus. Bring the winter coat I left in Troas with Carpus; also the books and parchment notebooks. (2 Timothy 4:9-13 msg)

   Its easy to just LEAVE! PART! Never talk to that person again, but Paul learned this along the way… Maybe as a result of this failed partnership with Barnabas:

   Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” (Romans 12:17-19 msg)

   Jesus gives a clue to us about all we should do to make peace with someone

   “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love. (Matthew 18:15-17 msg)

   3 Things Their Feud Was About

  1. The Lack Of Perfection
    What was the lack of perfection in this story?

  2. The Lack Of Maturity
    What was the lack of Maturity in this story?

  3. The Lack of Conflict Resolution
    Is there a lack of conflict resolution in your life? How should we handle this?

Closing + Goodbyes

Ask if anyone has additional thoughts or questions about the story or points. Close with an appropriate prayer time based on the faith level of those there tonight.

DNA Group Discussion

What's a DNA Group?

DISCOVER (PRE-WORK) Before and while you read these passages ask the Spirit of God to illuminate your heart and mind and bring conviction and clarity of his truth for your life. Take some time during your own personal study to read through these four key questions:

Scripture to study this week: Acts 15:36-41, James 4:1-3, 1 Corinthians 13:11, 2 Timothy 4:9-13, Romans 12:17-19, Matthew 18:15-17

1. Who is God (what does this passage tell me about God’s character)?
2. What Has God Done (how do I see God’s character in action here)?
3. Who Am I (How does God’s character and action shape how I see myself)?
4. What Do I Do (if I believe 1-3 how would I respond and relate to others)?

QUESTION: What did you DISCOVER during your study?

NURTURE Confess out loud to one another areas of personal struggle or unbelief that the Spirit revealed during your personal study.

In light of this week’s sermon, consider these questions together: 

  1. What was the lack of perfection in this story?
  2. What was the lack of Maturity in this story?
  3. Is there a lack of conflict resolution in your life? How should we handle this?

QUESTION: How will you REPENT and BELIEVE the gospel?

ACT In light of your time together, what steps will you take to act on your new discoveries and affirmed beliefs?

Consider these questions:

1. What is a tangible way that you can bear witness to the gospel in your school, workplace or neighborhood this week?

2. How can you demonstrate God’s involvement in your life? How can you be more aware of it and draw attention to it?

QUESTION: What will you DO and who will you TELL about what God has done?


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Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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