Love Rekindled

On the eve of the arrest of Christ a young man follows the procession leading Christ from Gethsemane. It is Mark’s story, let’s let him tell it. 

“Then they all forsook Him and fled. Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.” (Mark 14:50 – 52)

Mark was one of the last to abandon Christ on the night of His betrayal. Nevertheless, his fleeing left him with something to overcome. 

Most people have had moments they would like to forget. These moments of failure color our lives, but we choose the colors.

Mark was the son of Mary, a well-to-do Jerusalem widow. Her home was a favorite meeting place for followers of Christ. Mary, the mother of Mark, had a wealthy friend from Cyprus named Barnabas. His name means “son of encouragement.” Mary saw to it that he became a positive influence in young Mark’s life. 

Mark started out with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. They were venturing out to carry the good news of Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the world. They were to be the first heralds of the good news on the continent of Europe.

Mark made what Paul thought for the longest was an unforgivable mistake. Mark went back home to Jerusalem. He quit the team. This traumatic triangulation resulted in a painful estrangement. 

It is not as though followers don’t ever waver. It isn’t that they are immune to fear.  Believers often have to stare down fear.

Just as Paul contracted a painful illness Mark walked out on him. His unfaithfulness to his mission caused pain for Paul and Barnabas. It caused a rift between the three and alienation between Paul and Mark. It broke their fellowship. That break, however, gives a good illustration of how Christians reconcile.

The breach of relationships was deep and long lasting. The next time there was a missionary journey Paul and Barnabas planned to go together. Barnabas insisted on Mark going. Paul was adamant that his failure on their first trip disqualified him. Paul went on alone and Barnabas took Mark and they set out on a different mission. Mark was about to begin an admirable spiritual recovery.

While in prison in Rome Paul wrote a letter of encouragement to the church in Colossi. 

Therein is this greeting: “Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him).” (Colossians 4:10).

Right there at the prison with Paul was Mark. The breach restored, the fellowship renewed, the bond of love apparent.

The initial influences of Barnabas on young Mark paid off.