Monday, July 26, 2021

Mark ... His Story

Not yet the gospel of Mark, rather = The Story of Mark!!

Jewish name = John, surname (Greek/Latin) Mark - hence ... "John Mark"

1st. appearance - Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane - Mark 14:51-52.
This = 1st. Biblical reference to Mark - was with the followers of Jesus

Shortly, later, after resurrection .. Peter miraculously released from prison by angel, goes to ... Acts 12:11-12.  Mark's mother - assumed to be a widow.

Was Mark there?  or at Antioch?  Acts 12:25 - he comes fro a Godly home - among the movers in the early church.

next = Paul's 1st. Missionary journey - Acts 13:1-5

BUT... Acts 13:13 he "left" them....
with!! Acts 15:36-41  "deserted them ..." - result = division between Paul and Barnabas over Mark

Not mentioned again in Acts ...But ... later when .. Paul is in Roman prison  - Col. 4:10-11 = change in relationship with Mark

later still ... Mark is with Peter (apparently in home!)  1 Pet. 5:13   (around 63AD)

After Peter's death .. (?AD64?) Back with Paul ... Paul's final letter .. (?AD66?)  2 Tim. 4:9-11

this = last of Mark in the Scriptural record .. BUT... the early church fathers and historians (ex:  Eusebius, Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Iraneus) all declare ... (1) John Mark = Author of the Book of Mark.                                                                                       (2)  the content = the gospel story according to Peter!! (ie Peter authorized and approved it!)  The Apostle's view written by Mark.
When written?  between 35 and 65 AD, probably around 50 AD

it is also largely assumed ... Mark's gospel was a primary source for Matthew and Luke!!!  (90% of Mark's content is found in Matthew.)  (50% of Mark's content is found in Luke.)
Mark had a tremendous impact on the early church.

That = the Bio - "meet your author" notes.

Question:  Any relevance in that?  for us?  today?
Answer:  the story of Mark is an excellent source of illustration for living the Christian Life.

I)  A faulty start does not necessitate a poor ending!   --- Mark - started with exuberance (in the garden), obviously considered a follower, BUT ... when things got tough?  "fell away"

BUT .. he came back, cam back strong, he remained faithful, God used him in a great way!!!

Our failures needn't define our future .. because ... Phil. 1:6
On one hand, sin has consequences that may last a lifetime!
However, God = God of 2nd. chances  ( & 3rd & 4th, etc.)
AND His people should be also!!  Example:  Paul and John Mark

II)  God will grant opportunities - we must decide what to do with them!!
On one hand, Mark had many good influences (Mother, Barnabas, Paul, Peter ...)
However, He had to decide what to do with that!!

(1)  God attempts to 'mold' our character - "sanctification' - becoming God-like, or becoming like God
(2)  He uses many tools to accomplish that  (the primary tools = people!!)
BUT, (3)  finally ... we must decide how we'll be shaped!! - 2 Tim. 2:20-21

III)  We are not only shaped BY people .... we are shapers OF people!!!  What leaders said of Mark = "fellow worker"  "a comfort to me"  "my son"

Point:  great men shaped Mark, but Mark helped shape them!!

IV)  Mark accomplished great things NOT as a leader but as a helper!!  (assistant)
He's never 'out front'; when he writes, it = Peter's story  BUT ... his gospel influenced Matthew and Luke and millions since!!

when he shucked his robe .. did he ever expect to influence the Kingdom??
when he abandoned Paul and Barnabas..." did he ever expect to assist Apostles?
when he wrote Peter's story ... did he think it would be a 'best seller' for 2,000 years?

POINT:  don't belittle 'self for not being a leader
just pursue being a faithful servant!! - Mark 9:33-35, 10:42-45

So.... what is it the Lord wants from me?
Answer:  same as He wanted from John Mark ...

#1.  Submission:  surrender to Him (as Lord, Boss)
which = surrender to (a) the work He calls you to
                                (b) the position He has for you
(leader or assistant/ out front or in the rear

#2.  Servanthood - in whatever is your position, calling EVEN in, ESPECIALLY in position as leader!!
1 Pet. 5:1-4

#3.  Faithfulness  - example:  parable of the talents
Matt. 25:14-15, 21, 23     "each according to his ability"  "well done good and faithful servant"

#4.  Perseverance - which doesn't mean never fail.  Means always get back up!!!

NO guarantee ... you'll influence the world as did John Mark

Is the Guarantee = IF you surrender fully to Christ, IF are faithful with opportunities and abilities,  IF you hang in there .. Then .... God will do His work .. IN you and Through you!!!
So it'll be ... "well done good and faithful servant .. enter into the joy of your Lord."

 Closing Scripture:  1 Cor. 15:58 

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