“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 elapsed between Mark’s desertion from the mission team 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 follow-up work on those who received Christ on the previous mission. Barnabas wanted to take his cousin 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).
Paul insisted that the team not take Mark on their next mission trip because he deserted them on a previous mission.
“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. Barnabas might have reasoned, “After all, Mark is young. He failed the first time out, but we need to give him grace. Maybe he will make good this time.” 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 [Silvanus] 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 split over a personnel dispute. Each went his own way. Paul and Barnabas were never to minister together again.
As the years slipped by, Paul was in prison in Rome. From his cell, he wrote the book of Colossians. Paul acknowledged that Mark made his life right in the last chapter.
“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 how poorly you begin; what counts is how well you finish. The score at halftime is not nearly important as the score at the end of the game.