Sunday, July 9, 2017

Second Chances

Giving a person one chance is not really giving them any chance at all. Whether it's teaching, singing, playing an instrument or whatever, everyone is super nervous the first time and you will never, ever get a valid assessment of someone's ability by giving them just one chance, and all real teachers and leaders know that.

Remember the time Paul and Barnabas got into a huge fight and parted ways over John Mark because Paul refused to give him a 2nd chance? In Acts 13:13 and 15:36-41, we learn that John Mark had walked away from them on a previous mission trip and had not finished the work, but went back home to Jerusalem. Perhaps he was afraid after the encounter with the sorcerer on Paphos? Maybe he had just been away from home for a long time because of the persecution going on in Jerusalem and grew weary and homesick? It is, of course, possible that God called him to return to Jerusalem and he was being obedient, even brave, to go back. We aren't told the reason for his departure. But Paul had given up on Mark and refused to allow the young disciple to rejoin him on his missionary journeys. Barnabas, son of encouragement, gave Mark another chance and took him along on his ministry travels. This time, the young man proved himself to be reliable and well capable of the work.

Ultimately, Mark wrote one of the 4 Gospels. John Mark was a very observant young main with a kean eye for detail and an excellent memory. The types of small and interesting details that are the hallmarks of his Gospel prove the authenticity of his eye-witness account. I suspect that Mark was probably one source of information and influence on Luke the historian as he wrote the book of Acts, also including such details that only an eye-witness could provide. Eventually, Paul realized he was wrong about him saying:

"Get Mark and bring him with you for he is very useful to me for ministry."  -2 Timothy 4:11

If you aren't interested in giving people 2nd chances, you really aren't interested in people at all, and you aren't a leader. Real leaders are disciple makers who develop people.

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