Tag Archives: Paul and Barnabas

“Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.  They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.  Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.”  (Acts 15:37-40, NIV)

Paul and Barnabas were a phenomenal team.  Together, by the power of God, they had performed miracles, cheated death, and seen hundreds — if not thousands — of people come to faith in Jesus as a direct result of their faithfulness to God.

In today’s scripture, we read about the end of that great team because of a personal disagreement.

It is helpful to note that they did not disagree over money; they did not disagree over who was the best or the biggest.  They did, however, disagree over whether to include in their work John Mark — who had deserted them.

They disagreed sharply — as competent people often do — but they did not prolong their disagreement.  They agreed to disagree; and parted company with the blessing of the church as they proceeded in their respective tasks.

As disciples, remember that although we may sometimes disagree with our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we should never allow our disagreements to stand in the way of loving them without reservation.

In such situations, remember the adage: “In the essentials, unity. In the non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.”  – Luther

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“Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.  They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.  Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.”  (Acts 15:37-40, NIV)

Paul and Barnabas were a phenomenal team.  Together, by the power of God, they had performed miracles, cheated death, and seen hundreds — if not thousands — of people come to faith in Jesus as a direct result of their faithfulness to God.

In today’s scripture, we read about the end of that great team because of a personal disagreement.

It is helpful to note that they did not disagree over money; they did not disagree over who was the best or the biggest.  They did, however, disagree over whether to include in their work John Mark — who had deserted them.

They disagreed sharply — as competent people often do — but they did not prolong their disagreement.  They agreed to disagree; and parted company with the blessing of the church as they proceeded in their respective tasks.

As disciples, remember that although we may sometimes disagree with our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we should never allow our disagreements to stand in the way of loving them without reservation.

In such situations, remember the adage: “In the essentials, unity. In the non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.”  – Luther

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“Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over.  They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.  But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city.  The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.”  (Acts 14:19-20, NIV)

Stoned and left for dead.

As amazing as it is that Paul survived such abuse, what is even more amazing is what he did afterward: “He got up and went back into the city.”

We can only guess at Paul’s reasons for returning to the scene of his humiliation, pain, and near-death experience.  Perhaps, Paul chose to re-enter the city for the benefit of the disciples who had refused to abandon him.

How do we serve those who walk the extra mile with us through difficulties, trials, disappointments, and sorrows?  Do we remember that, for such people, the return distance home is one mile longer because of us?

If Paul and Barnabas had departed for Derbe from where Paul had been dragged by the mob, it would have been a shorter journey — and a lot less stressful.  (And they did, indeed, leave for Derbe the following day!)  However, in the moment, Paul chose to re-enter the city.

We do well — after we’ve “gotten up” — to see home those who have stood by us with the blessing of our literal presence, and our gratitude.

If God has saved you through one fire, remember that God also has the power to save you through a hundred fires more.  Do not shirk the opportunity, whether because of fear or personal inconvenience, to be a living example to others of God’s faithfulness.  – Luther

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