Paul had no patience with Barnabas and the young man that he believed deserted him on their missionary tour. John Mark had enlisted to journey with them to spread the Gospel. The team faced many …
Paul had no patience with Barnabas and the young man that he believed deserted him on their missionary tour. John Mark had enlisted to journey with them to spread the Gospel. The team faced many hardships as they ministered. At Pamphylia, John Mark announced that he did not want to go on with the two men. He had decided to return home.
The deeply dedicated Apostle Paul looked at John Mark’s decision as failure and betrayal of his companions and their mission.
When Barnabas and Paul were preparing to start their second missionary venture, Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them again. Barnabas may have been affected by his relationship with Mark. (They were cousins.) Paul strongly objected to including Mark on this trip. The disagreement became contentious and the two men, Paul and Barnabas, parted and went on separate journeys.
Because Mark had failed them once before, Paul believed he was likely to fail again. He did not want to give the young man another chance.
But the story of Mark’s life is not finished. Later when Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he wrote a letter to the Colossians and he says one of the brothers who was assisting him was Mark. Paul had accepted him again as a faithful, fellow servant of Jesus, and he became a great blessing to Paul.
Later, as Paul wrote what is believed to be his last epistle, he asks Timothy to come to him and bring Mark with him. Paul said Mark is “profitable (useful) to me for the ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:11)
Because you have failed does not mean you are a failure. When you fall, get up and move on. Do not accept the labels that others want to put on you.
Mark made a big mistake. He obviously failed. But the message of Jesus is a message of recovery, restoration and redemption.
Mark became useful, helpful and needed in Paul’s ministry. Regardless of your missteps and mistakes, there is a way back to great usefulness in God’s kingdom.
Write the Pastor at PastorBill@firstagcc.org