“Mark, we need to talk. I don’t quite know how to put this but Paul doesn’t want you.”

Acts 15

Barnabas wants Mark, Paul doesn’t.

In an earlier missionary trip Mark left Paul and Barnabas. The word Luke used to describe it was, “deserted”. The specifics of this are left out. Mark rejected by Paul.

Who broke the news to Mark?

“Mark, we need to talk. I don’t quite know how to put this but Paul doesn’t want you.”

How did that make Mark feel? Not just rejection (which no one likes to experience) but rejection by the great Apostle Paul.

Paul and Barnabas disagree so much over the “Mark issue” that they go their separate ways. Mark knew he was the reason for breaking up this great missionary team. Can you imagine how that must have felt?

How encouraging it had to be for Mark learn that Barnabas wanted him. But still… it must have been bittersweet. As time passed things worked themselves out. Gradually Paul warmed up to Mark and at the end of Paul’s life he wants Mark to be with him. The impressive young man who failed the first time out, the one rejected by Paul… goes on to write one of the four Gospels. He made it into the Bible!

We tend to kick our leaders when they are down… and because of that some stay down. Others eventually get back up. What makes the difference?

Maybe a “Barnabas” is what makes the difference between those who stay down and those who get up.  There will always be enough of those who are willing to kick, I can afford to be one who lifts up, who believes in the fallen. After all, I’m still a bit fallen. Do I really want to be judge, jury, and executioner? I’d rather be Barnabas.

Do you know a Mark?