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Acts 15:36-40 says, “Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.’ Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.” (NIV)
Did you notice the sharp disagreement mentioned here? Paul and Barnabas had such a difference of opinion that they split up their successful missionary team. Why? I think the roots of the disagreement are in Barnabas’ desire to encourage Mark.
You see, Mark had traveled with them on their first journey. But something happened and he quit. Paul didn’t want to take him on the second journey. But Barnabus went to bat for Mark. Paul, however, was not convinced. So, they divided their efforts. Barnabas took Mark with him to Cyprus. We don’t hear much more about Barnabas after this. But I find it interesting that Mark will write the Gospel of Mark at some point after his trip with Barnabus.
This account shows us that one way to encourage another is to give them a second chance. Do you need to give someone a second chance?
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.