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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Oct. 7, 2007

  • 2007 Oct 07

Mark and the God of New Beginnings

Conclusion Part 4 continued from October 6th


Mark's LIFE is encouraging   

First we see that God wants to use ordinary people to serve Him. It is ordinary people who fear; it is ordinary people who fail. And that is just the kind of people that the Lord wants to use. The question is do we want to be used? God wants to do extraordinary things with ordinary people so that He – the Lord, will get all the credit for what is done. 

  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 

Secondly, we see God wants to use those we might call failures to serve Him. Before Mark wrote this Gospel he was a drop out from ministry. Paul was so upset that he was willing to lose his partner in ministry than take someone he thought was a quitter along on the 2nd Journey. The grace of God is so wonderful. God gave John Mark a second chance. Peter picks him up after Barnabus, and uses him to give us the greatest of the Four Gospels. And even Paul and John Mark finally reconciled by the time Paul was in prison in Rome.  

  • John 21:15-19 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time,  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him,  “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time,  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time,  “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him,  “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.” 

Thirdly, God wants to use young people in ministry to Him. When the Lord moved on Paul’s heart to invite young John Mark on the great 1st Missionary Journey – the Lord knew he would quit. But the Lord wanted him to go to show He is the God of the 2nd chance, and 3rd and on and on. His mercy endures forever. Even when we fail He loves us!


  • Ecclesiastes 12:1-2 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: 

Finally, God wants to use the weaknesses in our lives to show His Grace as we serve Him. Yes, the Book of Acts tells us John Mark was a quitter, a drop out. He was not useful at one time in ministry. But have you thought about how gracious our God is?  

Every time we read this book we are experiencing the result of God's transforming grace. History records the path of Mark.

  • Mark the failed follower of Christ, becomes
  • Mark the forgiven follower, becomes
  • Mark the devoted disciple, becomes the
  • Mark who writes what may be called the premier biography of Jesus Christ, and finally becomes
  • Mark the honored martyr.  

Mark's Book should remind us of Mark's God who can encourage all of us to keep going. Listen to the poet who said: 

They on the heights are not the souls

Who never erred or went astray,

Or reached those high rewarding goals

Along a smooth, flower-bordered way.

Nay, they who stand where first comes dawn

Are those who stumbled but went on. 

[1]  In controlling the Empire, it was agreed that Augustus should govern those areas where there was unrest among the local people or a threat of invasion from outside. In provinces where there was no such danger, the senate appointed a proconsul (formerly a consul) each year as governor. There were also peaceful provinces within the Empire. These were ruled by two magistrates with the rank of proconsul from the main centre in the province. They were responsible directly to the Senate.

[2]  Adapted from MacArthur, John F., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 10, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1983

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