Day 34 - Severed partnerships

Read: Acts 15:37-40

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.

Towards the end of Acts 15 we seem to find John Mark back in Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, possibly having accompanied them when they returned from the Jerusalem Council. This set the scene for something that proved incredibly painful for the young man. Once again it was something outside his control – and mercifully, to some extent, outside of his hearing.

Paul and Barnabas had been discussing whether or not John Mark should accompany them on their next mission trip. Barnabas had said ‘yes’; Paul had said ‘no’, and they had fallen out over the issue – or, more accurately over him! It would not have been easy to forget having inadvertently split the world’s most successful missionary partnership.

Paul could not just forget Mark’s Cyprus exit, but then neither could Barnabas. For Barnabas it was a situation that required some restoration work and for him there seemed to be no better way to start that restoration than to take John Mark back to the scene of his failure.

John Mark may have felt that he was back on the side-lines but somehow he was still in centre of God’s will.

May we not lose sight of the restoration plans that God has for each one of us.