JOHN MARK (GOSPEL WRITER)



ACTS (13:4-5) 4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucid and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.


JOHN MARK, WRITER OF THE GOSPEL, WA AN ASSISTANT OF EARLY THREE MISSIONARIES- BARNABAS, PAUL, AND PETER.

MARK WAS TAKEN ALONG AS AN ASSISTANT BY BARNABAS AND PAUL ON THEIR FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY. HOWEVER, FOR UNKNOWN REASON, MARK LEFT THEM TO RETURN TO JERUSALEM BEFORE THE TRIP WAS COMPLETED (ACTS 12:25, 13:4-5). BECAUSE OF THIS, WHEN BARNABAS WANTED TO TAKE HIM ALONG ON THE SECOND TRIP, PAUL FLATLY REFUSED. THE SHARP DISAGREEMENT THAT RESULTED BROKE THE TEAM APART: BARNABAS TOOK MARK (HIS COUSIN) WITH HIM, AND PAUL CHOSE SILAS, AND THE TWO PAIRS WENT THEIR SEPARATE WAYS (ACTS 15:36-41).

LATER, IT APPEARS THAT PAUL AND MARK WERE RECONCILED AND THAT MARK ONCE AGAIN SERVED AS HIS ASSISTANT. IN COLOSSIANS, PAUL REFERS TO HIM AS A CO-WORKER AND SUGGESTS THAT HE MAY SOON BE SENDING HIM TO VISIT THE CHURCH IN COLOSSE (COL 4:10) STILL LATER, WHEN PAUL WAS AWAITING EXECUTION IN PRISON IN ROME, HE ASKED TIMOTHY TO BRING MARK WITH HIM, FOR HE THOUGHT MARK WOULD BE HELPFUL TO HIM IN HIS MINISTRY (2 TIM 4:11).

MARK ALSO APPEARS TO HAVE ASSISTED PETER WHEN PETER WAS ENGAGED IN MISSIONARY WORK IN ITALY NEAR THE END OF HIS LIFE; EARLY CHRISTIANS TRADITION SPEAKS OF HIM AS PETER'S "INTERPRETER". IN ONE OF PETER'S LETTERS, HE SPEAKS ENDEARINGLY OF MARK AS HIS "SON" WHO IS WITH HIM (1 PET 5:13. EARLY TRADITION SAYS IT WAS FROM PETER HIMSELF THAT MARK GOT THE INFORMATION FOR HIS ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE AND WORDS OF JESUS. GENERALLY CONSIDERED TO BE THE EARLIEST OF ALL THE GOSPELS, MARK'S GOSPEL WAS ALMOST CERTAINLY ONE OF THE KEY SOURCES USED BY MATTHEW AND LUKE WHEN THEY LATER WROTE THEIR OWN GOSPELS, FOR THIS REASON, MARK'S GOSPEL IS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL OF ALL THE EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITINGS.

MARK'S STORY REMINDS US THAT GOD CAN OVERCOME HUMAN FAILINGS AND RESTORE ROCKY RELATIONSHIPS FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST AND THE GOOD NEWS. EARLY FAILURES DO NOT DISQUALIFY A PERSON FROM A LIFE OF EFFECTIVE SERVICE AND EVEN LASTING SIGNIFICANCE.

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