Read Acts 13:5, 13; 15:36-41; 2 Timothy 4:11
We don’t know what happened. Mark, called John in Acts 13, went with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey initially, but something happened. Perhaps he was homesick, or maybe he was frightened by persecution, or it could be that he was simply overwhelmed by what he witnessed. So, he went home to Jerusalem.
Later, when it was time to go out again, Barnabas suggested giving Mark a second chance. Paul disagreed. “Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another” (Acts 15:39). The superstar team of Paul and Barnabas split up.
Does any of this sound familiar? You were gung-ho to do something, but it wasn’t quite what you expected, so you gave up. You quit. But then, after quitting, you regretted it and wanted to try again. Who supported you in your second effort? Who encouraged you and stood by you and stood up for you? Who stood against you?
Do you have strained relationships because of past poor judgment? How can you restore such relationships? It takes effort, and it takes time, and it takes patience. Don’t give up on the person who gave up on you. Maybe, like Paul, they will come to see you in a different light.
When Paul was nearing the end of his life, writing a letter to Timothy from prison, he told the young evangelist, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).
The one who had “departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work” (Acts 15:38) was now “useful to me for ministry.” Perhaps Paul witnessed Mark’s improved performance when he teamed up with Barnabas and went a different direction, or perhaps Paul simply had a moment of weakness himself in Acts 15. Whatever the case, his opinion of Mark changed over time, and he was willing to work with him again.
If you are willing to repent of your past sins and commit to serving God, you can be useful as well. It does not matter what you did yesterday. What matters is what you do today.