Mark, for whom this gospel is named, was a close companion of the Apostle Peter and a recurring character in the Book of Acts, where he is known as “John whose surname was Mark” (Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37, 39). It was to John Mark’s mother’s home in Jerusalem that Peter went when released from prison (Acts 12:12).

John Mark was a cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10), who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 12:25–13:5). But he left them at Perga and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13). When Barnabas wanted Paul to take John Mark on the second missionary journey, Paul refused. The resulting friction between Paul and Barnabas led to their separation (Acts 15:38–40).

John Mark’s earlier vacillation, however, evidently gave way to strength and maturity, and in time he proved himself even to the Apostle Paul. When Paul wrote the Colossians, he instructed them that if John Mark were to come, they were to welcome him (Colossians 4:10). Paul even listed Mark as a fellow worker (Philemon 24). Later, Paul told Timothy, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).

John Mark’s restoration to useful ministry may have been, in part, due to the ministry of Peter. Peter’s close relationship with Mark is evident from his description of him as “Mark my son” (1 Peter 5:13). Peter, of course, was no stranger to failure himself, and his influence on the younger man was, no doubt, instrumental in helping him out of the instability of his youth and into the strength and maturity he would need for the work to which God had called him

 MacArthur, J. (2000). Mark: The Humanity of Christ (p. 1). Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group.


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