They separated ...

After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. -Acts 15:36-39 NLT

The idea that Christians, even strong leaders, sometimes do not get along is not a new idea. The things that we separate over sometimes seems so insignificant. Years ago, as a fairly new believer, I remember leaving a fellowship of friends over a doctrinal issue. Many years later I saw the leader of that group and all I could do was embrace him - secretly wishing that we were still friends. Why is it that Christians allow ideology and theology to come between us?

Perhaps one of the things that we can learn from today's passage is that we must always allow love to prevail. Paul and Barnabas both had the same goal but Paul could not get past the past - something happened between him and John Mark that he could not let go of. John Mark also deserted Barnabas on their first trip but, unlike Paul, he was willing to give him a second chance. Relationships are so complicated even between the most spiritual among us.

Teach us to love Lord. Help us to show each other love even when we sharply disagree.


  1. So true...but that wasn't the end of Mark's ministry...praise the Lord. Sometimes it is very hard to let go of past hurts and disappoinments.

    1. So true Wanda. Comforting to know that even apostles struggled in that area.

  2. Yes I agree that sometimes it is hard to let go of the past hurts. Why do we like to lick our wounds?
    Is it pride?
    If only we could see the final outcome. Hindsight is 20/20.
    I'm so glad the Lord is in the restoration business and good can come out of "bad".

    1. Great insight Sue. Forgiveness and reconciliation is opposed by always pride.


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