July 24, 2015

Barnabas and Mark: Another Chance

Acts 15:36-41

They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus...

—  Acts 15:39

Some of us learn slowly. We are stubborn, we mess up, and we learn lessons the hard way. We need a mentor to guide our steps and to be our advocate.

Mark messed up too. He had gone with Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey, but along the way he had given up and deserted them. Paul thought it would be unwise to take him on another journey.

But Barnabas was willing to mentor Mark. Barnabas advocated for giving him another chance. Paul and Barnabas had such a sharp disagreement over this that they parted ways. Paul left with Silas, and Barnabas left with Mark. Even so, God continued to work through them to take the gospel to different places.

Mark benefited from being ­given another chance, and so did others. We see later that Paul also reconciled with Mark, saying to Timothy, “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11). In addition, the Spirit of God led Mark to write an account of Jesus’ life and ministry. We know it today as the gospel of Mark in the Bible.

As mentors, we model our life on God, who forgives and challenges us to live holy lives. Who in your life needs forgiveness and another chance? For whom could you be an advocate?

Lord, sometimes it is hard to forgive. Help us to remember how we have been forgiven, and help us to extend your grace to others. In the name of Jesus, our forgiver. Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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