Who was right, who was wrong?
In the books of Acts, there was a conflict between Paul and Barnabas. Prior to this issue, we know that Barnabas assisted Paul in his inauguration in the ministry (Acts: 9) Further it is recorded later in Acts that they worked alongside each other in the spreading of the Gospel, in turn, they were instrument in developing the conditions in the early church.
Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them to the next expedition. However, Paul thought it best not to include John Mark because he had left them in an earlier journey. “But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.” (Acts 15:39-40)
John Mark had left them in the midst of an earlier journey and Paul was using discernment from that experience. Barnabas, which means son of consolation or son of exhortation, son of comfort. He was doing what he naturally do, encourage. He wanted to inspire his cousin John Mark to continue in the work of the Lord.
Paul went on to do great things for God, which is recorded openly in the scriptures. Barnabas took quieter route, but I am sure he was essential in John Mark’s life. The scripture describe this issue vaguely, but these two men continue in the work of God not being moved because of their faith push through their emotions and pain for the greater good.
This was not an argument over scripture; this was a personal opinion on the matter between two men of God filled with the Holy Spirit. Who was right, who was wrong and what can we learn for this story? First, we do not have all the complete discernment on every issue, so just because I am right, doesn’t mean if someone disagrees with me that they’re wrong. Second, they are times that God will call us to things that other Christiana might not agree. And that’s ok; we serve a God with wisdom beyond our perspectives.
If you think Paul was correct because he was more vocal in his ministry later he says, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministering” (2 Tim. 4:11). Juan Mendez is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is now serving as a Chaplain. You can write to him at email@example.com
Think About This: We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started. Henry Ward Beecher
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24