The split among Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark is not a minor issue. Paul is deeply wounded and feeling abandoned during a critical season of ministry. Paul was making incredible progress expanding the message of Jesus throughout the Mediterranean region and John Mark abruptly bails. It’s highly likely that Paul counted on John Mark to fill in the teaching gaps when people had questions for Paul.
John Mark was tutored by Peter who had been an eyewitness to the life and ministry of Jesus. Paul did not have that luxury. We can only imagine how Paul felt, “I can’t believe he bailed! Does he have any idea what position he has put me in sabotaging the message of Jesus?” Paul felt a profound sense of betrayal from John Mark.
We make dangerous vows in this space: “I will never trust that person again.” Or, “I will never let that happen to me again. I will never work with these people again. I will never visit this house again. I will never call you again.” Have you made one of these vows?
Today offer a prayer asking God to reveal the people involved when you’ve made a vow like this. Then ask him to give you the courage to surrender and offer a second chance (Note: please consult a trusted small group leader, pastor, or counselor if this person may be dangerous or evil).