Monday, June 1, 2009

Apostle Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

The first journey (Acts 13:4 - 14:28) took about 3 years (A.D. 46-48).
The second journey (Acts 15:39-18:22) took about 4 years (A.D. 49-52)
The map of the second journey is posted at the end.

What was interesting is the intense dispute between Apostle Paul and Barnabas. Both spirit-filled man, with a deep love for God, disagreed over Mark. Acts 16:37-28 "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."

Disagreements can be a common fare among Christians as we are made so differently, and therefore the way we see and judge things and people is different. In the rainbow tapestry of human relationships, our lives become "interesting" as we learn to live and work with one another. No single person sees things perfectly, but in collective or community effort, we sought the Lord together as a Body, each part functioning for the whole.

Here was a person of Mark, maybe a rash irresponsible still marturing young man who deserted Paul and Barnabas in the midst of ministry. Barnabas (whose name means "Son of Encouragement" Acts 4:36) in his reconciliatory, encouraging and edifying nature, was prepared to give Mark a second chance. But Paul "think it not wise" to take him on. What did they disagreed upon that split up that vital partnership? Mark must be quite a character. In the later years of course Mark was exonerated as Paul himself requested for him in his final days (2 Timothy 4:11).

Was Paul a good judge of character? Maybe Barnabas was a better judge of potential. Maybe Paul was too quick to dismiss Mark but I am sure he had his reasons.  Would the church then would be very different if they had been more agreeable with each other? Interesting thought here!

Thank God for the Barnabas of our days. They see the potential that others can't see. There should be more 'Barnabas' in all of us!

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