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. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.
Acts of the Apostles 15:36-41 NLT
It is sad to see Spirit-filled believers disagree so strongly that they are unable to do ministry together. Paul felt that John Mark didn’t deserve a second chance since he didn’t commit to completing the first trip. Barnabas, the brother of encouragement, seemed more than willing to give John Mark another chance.
The division between the two caused Barnabas to take John Mark with him to Cyprus and Paul to choose Silas as his ministry partner. The result of the split was the creation of two missionary teams instead of one. We don’t know what happened with Barnabas and John Mark. Clearly, the writer of Acts traveled in Paul’s group.
We know that near the end of Paul’s life when he was in prison awaiting death, he asked them to send John Mark to him. So somewhere in the journey of life, there was a reconciliation between them.
God is the great Restorer. I believe He can mend the broken relationships in our lives. He can give us new perspectives and new understanding. When we allow God’s Spirit to work in us, He does amazing things—including restoring broken relationships.
Holy Spirit, please help me to be open to restoration in my relationships. Help me to lean into Your healing and wholeness.
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