Preaching, Teaching, and Notes


2 Timothy 4:11 “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”

It was not always so. Mark the writer of the Gospel of Mark, was first named in:

Acts 12:12 “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.”

He was a believer, young….and right in the middle of things from the first.

The verses where he is first mentioned, was where Herod began a persecution against the church.

James was taken and killed by the sword. (Acts 12:1-2). And Peter was taken, and put in prison.

But Peter, was kicked awake by an angel, and brought out of prison (Acts 12:6-11).

Then he found his way to Mary’s house, a Christian who had kept a prayer meeting going for his release.

Acts 12:5, 12 “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; for many were gathered together praying.”

Mary was John Mark’s mother, and Mark saw many wonderful things in those early days.

But his personal faith was not so strong. (Which suggests that seeing miracles, or great spiritual acts does not always increase faith…by themselves.)

Paul and Barnabas had John Mark for their helper, when they went out on their first missionary journey.

Acts 13:5 “And when they were come to Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.”

But as they went on in their missionary journey; John Mark became frightened and decided to go back from the work, to Jerusalem, where he thought he would be safe….back home.

Acts 13:13 “Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.”

Paul and Barnabas continued their journey, experiencing many wonderful and terrible things (this missionary journey was where Paul was stoned: Acts 14:19).

But no John Mark.

(Think of all the experiences he missed, because he let fear rule….instead of Christ)

After the first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem to speak about the growing problem of Judiazers.

(Those that taught they could not be saved except they follow the Law, as well.)

Acts 15:1 “And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”

Paul and Barnabas were sent by the brethren to go to Jerusalem, and having spoken about what the Holy Spirit was doing among the Gentiles… was determined that God had received the Gentiles…without them following the ceremonial law….

so they made the decision to admit them,…without making them follow the Law.

John Mark must have come with the men which came back to the church at Antioch, for he is Barnabas’ nephew.

Some while later, Paul and Barnabas begin to talk of visiting the churches they had preached to before (Acts 15:36)

But before they get started, there was “a contention”.

Acts 15:37-38 “And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.

But Paul thought not good to take with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia and went not with them to the work.”

You will notice the terms the Holy Spirit uses here:

Barnabas “determined”.

Paul “thought not good”.

John Mark was Barnabas’ nephew, and he would want to give him another chance to do what he should have.

But his “determined”, meant, he already had his mind made up.

He was going to do this. No matter what anyone said….this is never a good attitude.

Paul “thought it not good”. He was looking at the churches.

How would it appear to them, to have someone who would not hazard his life for Christ to come and minister to them?

These churches had begun to experience persecutions……how could Mark stand before them?

Now notice the Holy Spirit’s terms for the results of this “contention”.

Acts 15:39-40 “And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.”

Barnabas “took”. His mind had become hard, unmoving on this point; this was what he was going to do.

Paul “chose”. Thinking what should be best for Christ’s work.

Barnabas took off with Mark. It seems as if the Holy Spirit is emphasizing his willfulness. What a shame! You never hear of Barnabas’ work in the Scriptures again.

Paul chose, having the recommendation of the brethren, unto the grace of God.

Two different choices…two different ways.

But what about Mark?

Was there really a second chance for him? Of course….with the Lord, in His Way, there is always a way of forgiveness and restoration.

Some say that under the hand of Peter, he grew up into Christ.

For he became Peter’s helper.

1 Peter 5:13 “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.”

Some say the Gospel of Mark is actually Mark, writing it for Peter.

Whether that is true, Mark was restored to a work, for the Lord.

He grew up, and began to understand the true value of the life in Christ Jesus,… matter what the place or circumstances.

For it is not just miracles, and signs; but life, real life in our spirits, souls (personalities), and bodies…in great times, normal times, and in persecution.

Paul wrote later of Mark:

Colossians 4:10″Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Mark, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom you received commandment: if he come unto you receive him:)

2 Timothy 4:11 “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”

Mark has become “profitable”….a vessel meet for the Master’s use (2 Timothy 2:20-21)

Later Paul writes about bishops:

1 Timothy 3:6-7 “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

(Is that what happened to Mark at the first?)

He also wrote:

1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation (everyday actions), in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

(It is not age of years… but devotion to Christ, that is important)

We are to keep growing by yielding to the Holy Spirit, in encouragement, correction, and guidance.

We will never have sinless perfection…but we can be forgiven…grow…and go on with Christ.

Mark did.

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