Monday 26 April 2010

Bible Book:
2 Timothy

"Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry." (v.11)

2 Timothy 4:1-11 Monday 26 April 2010


Mark had a varied career. In Acts Paul is critical of himbecause at Perga Mark had left Paul and Barnabas and returned home.So, when Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them on a lateroccasion, Paul objected and this caused a rift between the two men.Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways: Silas going with Pauland Barnabas taking Mark with him to Cyprus.

Against this background Paul's request to "get Mark and bring himwith you" are words of great encouragement. First there is agenerosity of forgiveness. In Acts15:36-39 Paul is adamant he is not going to work with Markand the rift between him and Barnabas must have extended when Paulwrites to the Galatians and criticises Barnabas - "even Barnabaswas led astray by their hypocrisy" (Galatians 2:13), meaning thatBarnabas followed Peter's example in withdrawing from the societyof Gentile (non-Jewish) Christians in Antioch. Mark had been theoriginal source of the dispute between Paul and Barnabas and Paulmade his feelings clear. In today's passage though, Paul hasobviously had the grace to change his mind and not only asks forMark but also pays his ministry a compliment. Paul was willing toforget Mark's past mistakes and accept that he had changed. He wasalso able to forget his own anger and disappointment and hadobviously re-established a good working relationship withMark.

This verse is also reassuring because it speaks of new beginnings.Mark must have known that when he left Paul he had failed. Apartfrom being in receipt of Paul's anger he probably felt guilty, knewhe had damaged his reputation and was having to live with hisfeelings of failure. The way Paul in 2 Timothy 4:11 complimentsMark suggests that Mark used his experience of failure to develophis ministry.

It is too easy when things go wrong to avoid someone who hasoffended us. Paul, in that command to "get Mark" suggests there isan alternative way of dealing with our failures and embarrassmentsand that is to face them and learn from them.

To Ponder

What can you learn from Paul's change in attitudetowards Mark?

What can you learn from the changes which appearto have taken place in Mark?

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