Read Introduction to 1 Peter
“She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.”
THE LIFE OF MARK, Part IV
and so does Mark
Six years elapse between Mark’s desertion and Acts 15:36,
“Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing’” (Acts 15:36).
The gospel team decided to do some follow up work on those who received Christ on the previous mission. Barnabas wanted to take his nephew with them even though he was a failure the first time.
“Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark” (Acts 15:37).
Mark lives down in Jerusalem with his mother.
“But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work” (Acts 15:38).
Paul reasoned that if Mark quit once, he would quit twice. But Barnabas felt differently about that. He wanted to give Mark another chance. “After all, he is young. He failed the first time out, but we need to give him grace. Maybe he will make good this time,” Barnabas might have reasoned. But Paul resisted, “He is not going with me. You can’t depend on him.”
“Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches” (Acts 15:39-41).
The gospel team broke up over a personnel dispute. Each went his own way. They were never to minister together again.
Years slipped by and Paul was imprisoned in Rome. From his cell, he wrote Colossians. In the last chapter, Paul acknowledges that Mark made good.
“Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him)” (Colossians 4:10).
We want to finish well.
When it comes to Christian work, it does not matter as much how poorly you begin, what really counts is how well you finish. The score at half time is not nearly important as the score at the end of the game.
(The life of Mark — to be continued)