“She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son
THE LIFE OF MARK, Part V.
and so does Mark
Paul wrote Philemon at the same time and place as Colossians (when he referred to Mark 4:10). At the end of Philemon Paul says,
“Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers” (Philemon 1:23-24).
Here Paul calls Mark his “fellow laborer.” Mark was in prison with Paul in Rome. Paul was not ashamed to identify with Mark at this point. In fact, Paul views Mark as someone who works shoulder to shoulder with him under the duress of imprisonment.
We find the final verse about Mark in 2 Timothy 4:11,
“Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).
“Useful” means profitable. Mark is profitable to Paul for the work of ministry! What a change in Paul’s thinking! Mark came through with flying colors towards the end of his ministry. Barnabas’ confidence in Mark paid off. I wonder if Paul ever had misgivings about not giving Mark another chance for ministry.
It says something of both Paul and Mark that they could reconcile their differences. They were men of character who would not let differences of the past hinder future ministry together.
God is the God of second chances.
How many people go into the ministry and do not make it the first time? They are of sensitive spirit, and people easily hurt them. Criticism rains down on them, and they become so discouraged that they soon leave the ministry. Then God gives them a second chance. In their second chance at ministry, God uses them together in a marvelous way. Jonah was a failure the first time out, but God gave him a second chance. God is the God of second chances.
Can you resist holding a grudge against someone who hurt you in the past? Can you forget past injuries?