You know some days I am so thankful that I can read my Bible and see how bad even the heroes of the faith messed up. Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever get the idea that they were all perfect and that is why they were used by God? I know sometimes I think that only the special ones are used by God, you know the ones that don’t mess up or give up. I know that I can always find comfort in the Bible when I start to get discouraged. Today we are going to take at one person that we do not hear about often.
John Mark was a cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10), who travelled with Paul and Barnabas and later travelled with Barnabas and he wrote the book of Mark in the New Testament. When you hear that part of his story you might be thinking wow he was used by God. He wrote one of the books of the New Testament.
Let’s take a little journey to one of the first places we find John Mark shall we. In Acts 13:4-5 we find that John Mark goes with Barnabas and Paul after they are commissioned. He travels with them for a bit but then in Acts 13:13 we find this “Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.”
Did you read that? John Mark left in the middle of the missionary journey! I am sure that Paul was not happy about that. In fact this later causes a major disagreement.
“After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus.” Acts 15:36-39
Hold up, did you see that Barnabas wanted to give John Mark another chance and Paul did not want to. This caused enough of a conflict that Barnabas and Paul separated. I would like to think that this was a good thing because they both took a different person and went different directions. They were able to reach more people. God continues to give us chances over and over again. Paul later in Colossians tells the people to make Mark welcome (4:10). Mark later writes the book of Mark and is often thought of as Mark the Evangelist.
Just because he left, does not mean he doesn’t get another chance. Just because we mess up or quit does not mean it’s the end of our story! You have another chance! So be encouraged you still can be used by God.