It is the New Year!
Some of us see a new year as a fresh beginning; a time to make all things new again.
I tend to see the New Year as a mid-way point in the school or fiscal year if you will. The only thing new about it is that everything I just completed in 2014 now needs to be redone! AGH…like dishes and laundry a new year’s worth of duties has begun again!
Life is 90% perspective!
What could you choose to see with a new perspective?
Here is an example in relation to the Gospel of Mark.
First of all I did not know that the author of the Gospel of Mark is the John Mark mentioned throughout the New Testament. Beginning in Acts 12 we see that John Mark was the son of Mary whose house is used for regular prayer meetings and this is the home to which Peter goes when he is miraculously released from prison. Next, in Acts 13 we see John Mark traveling as a helper to Paul and Barnabas on the first Missionary Journey.
I did remember the John [Mark] who left Paul and Barnabas and returns to Jerusalem before the missionary journey is completed. (Acts 13:13) I also remembered the argument between Paul and Barnabas as to whether or not he should join them again on another journey. (Acts 15:37) And there is a vague recollection that Paul and John Mark restore their relationship.
But I did not realize that this reconciliation between Paul and Mark is what brings Mark to Rome and in Rome Mark becomes a spiritual son to the Apostle Peter. (I Peter 5:13) It is this relationship that gives Mark the complete information along with the Holy Spirit’s influence to write the Gospel of Mark!
As my teenage son would say “Mind Blown!”
I have always viewed this story as a conflict between the two ministry leaders Paul and Barnabas.
But, how did Mark feel about this?
John Mark obviously was a believer. He grew up in a house of prayer and regular fellowship with other believers. He had a call to serve God and spread the Gospel and so he joins the first missionary journey as a helper. But something happens along the way and he goes home. We don’t know why. We do know that Barnabas felt John Mark’s call was worthy of another chance and Paul didn’t have trust or patience to give him that chance. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to be the person to make Paul and Barnabas argue?
Mark keeps trying to obey God’s call. I never noticed that before. He keeps serving in the church and alongside Barnabas. And it is Paul in II Timothy 4:11 and Philemon 24 that writes about Mark and says that he is useful and a fellow worker! After all this Mark pens his Gospel.
What if Mark had gone home to Jerusalem and quit following his call?
What if when Paul and Barnabas argued He had said “never mind you go on without me”? What if he had been too defeated to continue on the path God had laid out for him? We would be missing the first letter of the Good News. His Gospel was penned first, most likely around 60 AD.
Have you ever felt uninvited as Paul uninvited Mark?
I know I have. As a minister’s wife I have lived out some very hurtful seasons in life when callings and platforms have been taken away. But; I am also blessed to tell you that, like Mark my husband and I have gotten back up and gone on with what we could do to fulfill our call. Whatever season you are in I urge you to get back up and keep going. Do what you know you have been called and purposed to accomplish!
Have you been being a Paul to someone when you should be being a Barnabas?
Who is it that you don’t feel is necessary to put time and energy into; but God is saying they are useful and a fellow worker? Mark became those things in part because of the care and training given to him by Barnabas.
Reconcile your differences and your perspective…you don’t know who is waiting to hear what only you can say about the Good News!