It was the first missionary journey.
Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit . . . and preached the word of God. John Mark went with them as their assistant.Acts 13:14a,15b
But just a few verses later…
John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.John 13:13
The Bible doesn’t tell us the reason why. Truthfully, many have wondered whether he was a coward, weak, or simply homesick?
But whatever his reasons, John Mark left and Paul was not happy! We know that because this is what Luke wrote later about the next recorded mission trip.
Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated.Acts 15:36–39a
Many also believe that the following verses were written about John Mark…
Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away. One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked.Mark 14:50–51
So, what should you and I think about him?
Well, I think we are supposed to identify with him.
You and I are often weak and we lack courage. but God doesn’t want those things to define us.
By God’s grace. John Mark is not remembered for his weakness but for his strength and accomplishments.
He wrote the Gospel of Mark. He provided his home as a gathering place for believers and that home may have been where the Last Supper took place. AND, when Paul was imprisoned near the end of his life he asked for John Mark to come to him.
Praise God, we can have His mercy to cover our weaknesses. And His all-sufficient grace to give us strength to serve Him and give Him glory.
A Prayer for God’s Mercy and Grace
to Turn Weakness Into Strength
Father, Please forgive me. I want to be strong but I’m often a fearful coward. I want to go wherever You send me but when I’m comfortable and change seems overwhelming I choose to stay right where I am. I want to serve You and glorify You with my life but I can run back to the familiar even when it’s not what You want for me. I am sorry.
Make me the person You want me to be. Your Word says You give wisdom and knowledge. (James 1:5) You give comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:7) You give peace and strength. (Psalm 29:11) You give hope and courage. (Philippians 1:20) You give mercy and grace. (Hebrews 4:16) You give me everything I need to turn my weakness into strengths I can use for You.
I surrender myself to You. Please help me follow wherever You guide me and do Your will as You reveal it to me. I want my life to glorify You alone. By Your mercy and grace, turn my weakness into strength and help me live each day for You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians:
It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please Him.Philippians 2:13 (GW)
When you and I can’t . . . God can!
He does not leave us alone in our weaknesses and struggles. When you and I surrender our lives to Him, He gives us the desire and power to do His will. He even turns weaknesses into strengths that He can use for His glory in ways that bless others.
On today’s note write:
God’s grace is able to turn my weakness into strength.
May God be with you and give you strength as you surrender every weakness to His grace.
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