Person: John Mark
Epic Fail: Desertion
God’s View: A useful man
Ever been unfaithful, quit or walked out and think God can no longer use you? STOP! God uses quitters. Being unfaithful creates significant consequences and fallout. The issue is not the sin, but in repentance. John Mark quit, but that’s not the last word.
God’s man of action
Mark wrote my favorite Gospel. As a boy I remember always being in and studying the Gospel of Mark. It described Jesus as a man of action. It’s the adventure Gospel. (As a college & seminary student Mark had a lot of action as well.) The Gospel was written to encourage and spur Christians to serving and pursuing Christ. Its abrupt ending (depending on one’s view of the last chapter) begs the question of what’s next.
John Mark served the apostolic community as well, and he contributed to the New Testament. His ministry still impacts people today. The Bible describes him as a fellow worker. He went on missionary journeys. Mark was a man of action.
Mark was a deserter… On a missionary journey Mark deserted Paul at Pamphylia. Paul, also a passionate man of action, did not want to take John Mark on his second missions trip. This created tremendous tension between Paul and Barnabas. This caused the two great leaders to part company.
Barnabas gave Mark a second chance and took him. Paul took Silas. And, as history would have it, Mark demonstrated repentance and stood as a man of action. Quitting produces significant consequences, but it does not have to be the end.
God’s final view
Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. ~2 Timothy 4:11
Paul, who wanted nothing to do with Mark, at the end of his ministry… when he was at the end of his life… when all were abandoning him… requested the presence of John Mark because he was useful. That is change.
This week as we looked at Not Perfect is a Holy thing, remember this key point: imperfection and sin does not have to be the last word on your life! When we see Christ face to face we will be made perfect and lacking nothing in the realm of holiness because of Christ’s work on the cross. But today… right now… as you’re reading this… you are not perfect, but in Christ you are holy!
The bottom line of Not Perfect is a Holy Thing:
Do not pursue perfection, pursue repentance. Do not make sinless your goal, but actively serving Jesus Christ. You and I will fail, we may even fail in epic ways, but that does not mean God is done with us. The moment we stop pursuing God, the moment when we stop striving for repentance that’s when we cease being holy on Earth.
The Holy man is the one who pursues a life of repentance not perfection, a life of service, not a life of ‘I’m right you’re wrong.’ The holy man lives by grace, and grace covers a multitude of sins. Our Savior is that big!