One of the joys in life is seeing and hearing the evidence of God’s interaction in the lives of individuals. The miraculous deliverance of Peter from prison was a shot of adrenalin to every Believer in Jerusalem. To experience answered prayer lifts one above the natural realm to a God consciousness. John, surnamed Mark, was so moved by Peter’s appearance at the prayer meeting at his house that he joined the Barnabas and Saul/Paul evangelistic team. (Acts 12:25)
Being a promoter of the Gospel is not an easy undertaking. Mark would travel with them to Antioch, Seleucia and Paphos, but when they arrived at Perga, Mark decided to return to Jerusalem. (Acts 13:13) Eventually Barnabas and Saul returned to Antioch where they continued to teach and preach. After some time, they decided to revisit the area where they had initially ministered. Barnabas wanted to give Mark another chance to go with them, but Paul opposed the reunion and a falling out between Paul and Barnabas ensued. Barnabas decided to break with Paul and chose Mark to be part of his team, while Paul then chose Silas to go with him. I wonder if Mark being his nephew had anything to do with his decision. (Colossians 4:19) One has to be careful in speculating why certain Biblical characters responded in the way they did, but one can still wonder.
Immaturity causes actions that are founded mostly on emotions. Mark was part of a prayer meeting that hesitated to accept the reality of their prayers being answered. Seeing the miracle of Peter’s deliverance probably awakened a desire in Mark to serve the Lord and when the opportunity to accompany Barnabas and Paul presented itself, he eagerly joined the team. I remember years ago there was a young man who had attended an evangelistic meeting in which he witnessed a miraculous display of God’s power. He was so taken back by what he saw that he decided to quit his job and start a church. With no income, but with plenty of resolve, he launched out in the “sea” of ministry. It wasn’t long before he experienced some rough “waves” which affected his zeal. Eventually, he abandoned his rented building and returned to secular employment. Could there have been challenges at Selucia and Salamis that caused Mark to question his decision to follow Barnabas and Paul? The direction of a Believer is not sustainable through emotional decisions. Some people are motivated when they witness miracles, but miracles alone should never be the deciding factor in serving the Lord.
God appreciates volunteers who are willing to “leave all and follow Him,” but when it comes to ministry positions, it is God that chooses and anoints those who will become His spokesman. Mark eventually matured and returned as a chosen vessel and was a great asset to both Peter and Paul. Peter even called him “my son.” (I Peter 5:13) Paul writing from prison, asked Timothy to bring Mark to him “for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” (II Timothy 4:11) Mark moved from immaturity to being a mature Saint! May every Believer pursue up-grading!
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