The Comeback of John Mark

A person who keeps resurfacing in the Bible is a man with two names.  Sometimes he is Mark and sometimes he is John.  For clarity, Luke often refers to him as “John, also called Mark”; John Mark for short.

John Mark’s story begins in Acts.  When Peter is miraculously released from prison he heads to the home of John Mark’s mom, Mary.  They are praying for Peter at that time; John Mark is likely a part of that prayer meeting.

Later, Barnabas (John Mark’s cousin) and Paul take him on a missionary journey, but John-Mark bales on them early on and returns home, to Jerusalem.  Later, Barnabas wants to give his cousin a second chance, but Paul adamantly disagrees and the two-part company over John Mark’s failure.

However, the story doesn’t end there.  John Mark makes a comeback and wins Paul over.  In Paul’s various letters, he affirms their relationship, calls John Mark a coworker, and asks the church to accept and welcome him.  John Mark is also affirmed by Peter.

John Mark rushed into ministry before he was ready — he didn’t “count the cost” — and did not prove to be faithful.  Despite his poor start, he turned things around and finished well, helping both Paul and Peter.  He is likely the author of the gospel of Mark.

[Acts 12:12, 25, Acts 13:5, 13, Acts 15:37-40, 2 Timothy 4:11, Philemon 1:24, Colossians 4:10, 1 Peter 5:13, Luke 14:28]

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