Acts 15:36–41 (ESV) – Christmas Eve
Paul and Barnabas Separate
36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark.
38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away
to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
shows a parting of the ways for Paul and Barnabas. They had decided to return to the cities they first where they preached and taught. Barnabas want to take John Mark with him, but Paul was not happy about this. In Acts 13:5, John Mark was
traveling with Paul when he broke away and went back to Jerusalem. There is no information as to why John Mark returned home. It could have been health problems, a disagreement, fear, persecution... we don’t know. But what we do know
is that John Mark broke away and returned home. Paul does not want John Mark on the team because he quit the first time. He wants someone that is focused and committed. John Mark may have had valid reasons, but no information is given.
Barnabas believes in John Mark and he breaks away from Paul and joins together with Barnabas. Paul takes Silas on his team. They may have had some disagreements, but God still works through them and now there are two teams. We need to stop
and realize that we may not get along with fellow Christian brothers, but we can still work for the good of Christ. This is what has happened in today’s reading.
I pray: O Lord, help me to
get along with my fellow Christian brothers. Help me to stand up for them when it is right and help me to walk away when it is going to hinder the work of the Lord. Help me to realize that God can work through those that I disagree with... Help
all of us to work to carry out your will. Amen.