The story of John Mark, known as Mark, is a refreshing reminder that God gives second chances to those who repent and stay in the battle.
Mark was the son of Mary, the sister of Barnabas. Her house was the place where Peter came after his release from prison. Mark was likely among those praying for Peter’s release.
Mark was given the opportunity to accompany Barnabas and Paul on the first missionary journey from the Church at Antioch. However, in the middle of the journey, Mark returned home. This resulted in Paul’s refusal to take Mark on the second missionary journey, but Barnabas decided to take Mark with him to Cyprus, and Paul went with Silas to Asia Minor.
This second chance proved to be just what Mark needed because Mark later appears in Rome as Paul’s fellow worker. Later in Timothy Paul asks Timothy to bring Mark with him “for he is useful to me for ministry” (II Timothy 4:11). Also, Mark is the author of the book of Mark, the second of the gospel books.
Two lessons are to be learned from the story of Mark. First, mistakes can be teaching tools. Mark was eager to go on the second missionary journey. Secondly, encouragement from others serves to give motivation to continue on, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Philippians 3:13).
Thank God for second chances!