Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” All things include the (good, bad, and the ugly).
Introduction: This evening, we want to see the life of John Mark, a great example of someone who had “all things work TOGETHER for good”. Sometimes we think that only good things in our lives work TOGETHER for good, but that’s not true. God uses even the bad things in our lives to work TOGETHER for good.
What were some “good things and bad things” that happened in the life of John Mark which “worked together for good?”
I. John Mark grew up in a Christian home- (Good Thing) Acts 12:6-12 “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.”
– With a Christian Uncle named Barnabas- which is being interpreted, the son of consolation. Acts 11:22-26
II. John Mark Joined Barnabas and Saul- (Good Thing)Acts 12:23-25 “And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.”
– Acts 13:5 “and they had also John to their minster”.
– John Mark, wanting to do more for God, decided to join the work that Barnabas and Saul were doing.
III. John Mark left Barnabas and Saul– (Bad Thing) Acts 13:13 “Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.”
John Mark left the work in Pamphylia– (Bad Thing)Acts 15:36-38 “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.”
– We don’t know why John Mark left the work but we do know that a spiritual work has spiritual enemies. Perhaps he was home sic, he was tired, the language, the food, the culture, the living conditions. Pressures of ministry.
– Luke 9:62 “no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”.
– Philippians 3:13 “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”.
IV. A Division Was Caused by two Brethren (Bad Thing)Acts 15:39 “And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other:
– Paul, being as militant as he was, thought it not good for John Mark to go on this second work and caused a division between Paul and Barnabas.
V. John Mark Got a Second Chance- (Good Thing) Acts 15:39 “And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other:
and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;”
– Barnabas, being the son of consolation, thought it good, to take with him John Mark, perhaps to help him and instruct him along the way. Perhaps he thought that John Mark was now ready.
VI. John Mark Became a Fellowlabourer with Paul the Apostle- (Good Thing)
– Colossians 4:10 “Aristarchus my fellowprisonersalutheth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him)
– Philemon 1:24- Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
– In other words, receive him, I approve of him, he is my fellowlabourer. Wow, what a change.
VII. John Mark Was Profitable to Paul and Wrote the Gospel According to Mark- (Good Thing) 2 Timothy 4:9-11 “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”
– Just when you think that you’ve messed up in the Christian life and that God can’t use you anymore, consider this.
– Somewhere along the way John Mark and Paul reconciled. Not only was John Mark profitable to Paul in the ministry, but he went on to write the gospel according to Mark in the New Testament of your Bible. THAT’S A BIG DEAL!!!
Conclusion: John Mark messed up, and people were upset at him however, he ended up being used by God in a great way. You and I are going to do good things and bad things as it relates to our walk with the Lord. But remember this, its ALL THINGS that work together for GOOD to them that love God.
When I think about my own life, I’m extremely thankful to God, and how he has worked all things (the good, the bad, and the ugly) together for good in my own life. I don’t know what God has in store for my life, or for your life BUT, I’m sure thankful that just like John Mark, we too, can be used in a great way for God, when he works ALL things together for good.