For those of you who haven’t counted, Mark is mentioned by name ten times in the New Testament. He is referred to at John, John Mark and Marcus.
Maybe you’re like me and you think, “The guy wrote one of the Gospels. He’s hardly an everyday person.”
But here’s the truth of it: he was an everyday person. Then he met Jesus Christ, and God called him to a greater purpose.
The same is true for each one of us. Obviously, none of us will be called to write a Gospel, but we will all be called to follow Jesus. Some might be called into pastoral ministry and all will be called to serve within a New Testament church.
Some are called to teach. Others are called to sing. Still others will be mothers and fathers of a pastor, teacher, deacon or missionary. All these callings are important and the best news is they can be filled by ordinary people.
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.1 Thessalonians 5:24
Let’s take a look at Mark. I think it will encourage you to be used of God.
- the son of Mary, a member of the Jerusalem church
- related to Barnabas
- a younger disciple, likely only a child when he met Jesus and became a disciple
- messed up a couple times. One of them involved being naked (Mark 14:51-52)
Let’s talk about Mark’s mistakes. Another one of them began with his choice to accompany his uncle/cousin Barnabas on a missionary journey with Paul and their team. Early on in the trip, Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.
Scripture gives us no details about the why of this departure, but we know that the circumstances of it didn’t impress the Apostle Paul. He didn’t want to include Mark on the second trip, and that event forced a split between he and Barnabas (next week’s post is all about this).
But that isn’t the end of Mark’s story. Even though he messed up, he didn’t give up. And God didn’t give up on him either.
Later, Paul writes that Mark is profitable and a fellow-laborer. In the years between the failure and the split, Mark lived for the Lord. He probably messed up some more. That’s part of the human condition, but God used him to pen one-fourth of what we know about the life of Jesus Christ on Earth.
I’d say that is an extraordinary comeback for this ordinary guy. God used an everyday person back then, and He’s planning to continue working through the ordinary until the end of time.
What everyday person from scripture inspires YOU?