What Jesus Did! 'John Mark, the Evangelist' — Mark as revealed in Acts 15:36-40

Thursday, February 29, 2024

After some time 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. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care.
— Mark as revealed in Acts 15:36-40 NLT

Key Thought

It's leap day! So we're taking one day off from the Gospel of Mark to talk about the writer, John Mark. The John Mark in today's Scripture is better known as just Mark. He has traditionally been viewed as the evangelist who is responsible for the Gospel of Mark. Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on what is often called the first missionary journey. [1] When things got tough, however, Mark deserted the work. [2] When getting ready to go back and visit these recently established churches and do additional mission work, Paul refused to take Mark with them. The great story we learn behind this horrible split in the great mission team of Paul and Barnabas is that God continued to work in the ministries of both Paul and Barnabas. Instead of one mission team, there were now two. Barnabas helped reclaim Mark, and Paul involved Silas, another bright and passionate young man in ministry and missions. Toward the end of Paul's life, Paul also asked for Mark to be with him. [3] So God worked in their lives and brought harmony as well as extra mission power out of what would otherwise have been a disaster. The Gospel of Mark is a great reminder that we all need a second chance, and in Jesus, we get it!

[1] Acts 13:4-5.
[2] Acts 13:13.
[3] 2 Timothy 4:11.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for taking our messes and disagreements and bringing something good out of them. Help me be like Barnabas and reclaim those who are discouraged and defeated. Help me be like Paul and welcome back those who have proven themselves after failure and even those who are trying to recover from failure. Give me the proper sense of balance and the proper role you have called me to fulfill in your plan for your people. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 12:6-12
  • 2 Corinthians 2:5-8
  • 2 Timothy 4:9-11


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Illustration of Mark as revealed in Acts 15:36-40 NLT — "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."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.