Summary: Travelling with Paul : John Mark (Learning from failure) - sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1). Mark the Man:
• (1a). His Name.
• (1b). His Family.
• (1c). His Attitude.
(2). Mark the Missionary:
• (2a). He Had Church Support (vs 3).
• (2b). He Had God's Blessing (vs 4).
• (2c). He Had A Smooth Departure (vs 4b).
• (2d). He Had An Idyllic Destination (vs 4b).
• (2e). He Had A Difficult Experience (vs 5).
• (2f). He Had A Crisis Of Faith (vs 13b).
• (2g). He Had A Friend Who Cared (vs 15:26-39)
(3). Mark the Minister:
• (3a). Colossians chapter 4 verse 10:
• (3b). Philemon verses 23-24.
• (3c). Second Timothy chapter 4 verse 11.
• (3d), Mark's Gospel
(1). Mark the Man:
(1a). His Name.
The first thing to note about Mark is that he had three names:
• Latin name: ‘Mark/ Marcus’.
• Which means 'Warlike'
• (and that tells us his family had Roman connections maybe even Roman citizenship,).
• His Hebrew name, because he was Jewish was: 'Yohanan / John':
• Which means: 'God is gracious'.
• Tradition gives him another name (Greek): ‘Kolobadattoloss’.
• Nickname and means: 'Stubby-fingered'.
• One day God would use those stubby fingers;
• To write what most scholars now regard as the earliest written gospel.
(1b). His Family:
• His mother was a well-to-do Jewish lady of Jerusalem;
• Her name was 'Mary' in Hebrew 'Miriam'.
• We read about her in Acts chapter 12 verse 12:
• Which tells us the early church used to meet in her house to pray.
• So ‘housegroups’ are not a new thing, they are actually quite old fashioned!
• We have no evidence who his Father was;
• But that of course does not stop people guessing.
• Some scholars have suggested he was the man mentioned in Mark chapter 14 verse 13.
• When Jesus tells two of his disciples to g look for a man carrying the water pot.
(1c). His attitude.
• Mark is mentioned frequently in the New Testament:
• But always as a number two, never the main player.
• He is always someone's assistant.
• Leonard Bernstein, the late conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra,
• Was once asked to name the most difficult instrument to play.
• Without hesitation, he replied: “The second fiddle”.
• He went on to say;
“I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm – that’s a problem; and if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.”
• TRANSITION: John Mark played the second fiddle;
• For three of the great leaders in the early church:
• Barnabas (His uncle) (Acts chapter 12 verse 25).
• The apostle Paul (Acts chapter 12 verse 25).
• Mark also assisted the apostle Peter:
• He acted as his interpreter when he was in Rome (1 Peter chapter 5 verse 13).
• After all Galilean fishermen were not too hot on their Latin.
• In fact we know from historical records outside the Bible,
• i.e. The 2nd century historian Papias:
• Mark was asked by the church in Rome,
• To record Peter's story and teaching of Jesus.
• Now Peter wasn't all that keen, in fact the record says:
• "He (Peter) neither hindered nor encouraged Mark to do this".
• "You can if' you like, I'm not bothered".
• Two thousand years later we have that record, a book in our Bibles:
• Because ‘stubby fingered’ Mark kept a record of Peter's eye-witnessed stories,
• Now this morning I want to focus in on one incident in the life of Mark.
• You can do that with all these characters who travelled with Paul.
• Focus in on one incident or one characteristic.
• i.e. Aquilla & Priscilla: A Godly Marriage God used them together in Mission work.
• i.e. Barnabas: Encouragement in name and in ministry.
• i.e. Dr Luke: Historian.
• Luke seems to have invented a style of historical writing;
• Which was not commonly practiced in those days.
• John Mark.
• i.e. From failure to success.
• If ever you have failed, remember you are in good company!
• YouTube: https://youtu.be/zLYECIjmnQs
• Quote: William Brown.
• “Failure is an event, never a person.”
(2). Mark the Missionary:
Bible Reading: Acts chapter 13 verse 1-13.
• It's very easy when reading the Bible to be idealistic:
• To glamorise, and therefore to lose the reality of a situation:
"Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head,
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus a sleep on the hay…