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Mark failed to persevere and he deserted Paul and Barnabas during their first missionary journey. The reason he quit is not known, but perhaps he was discouraged or missed home and family. Or maybe the journey was too difficult and giving up seems the easiest route. Mark learned his lesson that on Paul and Barnabas Second Missionary Journey, John Mark wanted to join them. Paul being an idea-oriented person at least at this point, sees John Mark as a failure and not profitable to bring along. But Barnabas being the son of encouragement and more people-oriented did not agree with Paul’s conclusion. “Let’s give him a second chance” seems the echo I could hear from Barnabas in this particular event. The two missionaries couldn't agree that they ended up splitting. Take note that these two different perspectives divided the two missionaries. Luke recorded in Acts the journey of Paul, but he didn’t record Barnabas’ journey.
What the manager did is a perfect example of what we usually do when someone did something wrong. We give sermon. We scold them. At times, instead of lifting those who have fallen, we kick them and trampled them!
Christian life may be compared as a flying adventure. Some Christians fly like a goose, because to fly on the air does not only require strength but requires others’ support. In the course of flying, one will evidently experience weariness. Some gave up the flying expedition of the Christian life due to weariness, added by the strong wind, sun, and rain that beat them continually. They give up because no one supported them. Yet, some endures despite the difficulties because they fly together and support each other—the weaker one flies behind the wings of the strong ones. Strong ones should support the weaker ones.
How would we make someone fly easier this week? What effort can you and I make today to help someone fly or to keep them flying. May be words of encouragement; may be prayers, but may be financial or material support.
Like Barnabas, we need to encourage others when they fail. We should not leave them behind. Although, Paul was able to reconciled with Mark sometime later and he called Mark 'profitable for my ministry', what would have happened if Barnabas didn't fight for Mark earlier? What would have happened to Mark if Barnabas gave up on him? Mark, by the way, wrote the second book of the New Testament, the Gospel according to Mark. I would like to believe that Mark have told Barnabas, 'Thank you for not giving up on me'! We need someone who is not willing to give up on us!
How many John Marks are out there needing second chance? Will you be a Barnabas to them?