Day 33 - Shifting Patterns

Read: Acts 13:13

THEME: For much of his life John Mark appeared to be living on the edge of the action. For many this is an uncomfortable area to be in, but it can be an ideal place for God to shape us and mature us.

Yesterday we looked at John Mark’s move to Cyprus with Barnabas and Saul. In Acts 13:13 we see him quitting the team and returning to the security of his Jerusalem home.

Once again circumstances had changed beyond Mark’s influence. Saul, who was now calling himself Paul, seemed to be taking over the lead from Barnabas and recruiting others in a move to expand the team.

Problems seem to have begun with a dramatic encounter at the Proconsul’s house. Barnabas and Saul had been invited, but not John Mark. As Barnabas was speaking to the Proconsul, Saul had intervened and an obstructive magician who had been acting as the Proconsul’s advisor had been struck blind. Saul seemed to think this was fine, possibly an echo of his own conversion experience, and certainly an opportunity for the man to have his inner blindness highlighted by his outer condition. It seemed to be such a turning point for Saul that he had changed his name to Paul, had taken charge, and had gathered others around him in readiness to extend the mission to the mainland.

For John Mark the choice was onward or out and he was opting for out. Being on the edge of the action gives plenty of opportunities for taking offence but taking offence always stunts personal progress.

May God give us the grace to handle today’s challenges with wisdom in a way that pleases Him.