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Restoration and Fatherhood

Barnabas shows fatherly wisdom in giving John Mark a second chance.

John Mark was young and an upcoming leader in the early church. He eventually would pen the gospel of Mark under the guidance of Peter which became the template for the other gospels. The apostles sent him on the first missionary journey of Paul and John Mark’s older cousin Barnabas. John Mark became homesick and overwhelmed with the dangerous and challenging ministry to the Gentiles and displaced Jews, so they sent him home. Later, John Mark wanted to rejoin Paul and Barnabas on their next journey, but Paul refused to give him a second chance while Barnabas became his advocate and they formed two groups after some sharp debate. Barnabas and John Mark went in one direction while Paul and Silas went another way, both teams led by the Holy Spirit. We don’t hear much about John Mark’s father, but I believe that Barnabas was a father-figure to young John Mark and took the young man under his wing. Barnabas was willing to stake his reputation and sacrifice his ministry with Paul for John Mark’s development. Biological fathers as well as spiritual fathers should take note of Barnabas’ actions with John Mark. We must allow our sons and daughters to fail only to be there to pick them up and give them more chances to grow in character and in the Lord. The prodigal son’s father allowed him to take the inheritance and squander it all away. Yet he daily looked down the road until the son returned and love came running toward the wayward child! May the Lord bless us as men and fathers as we mentor our young people by examples of Barnabas and the prodigal’s father today. AMEN

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