Paul and Barnabas Disagreement

This entry is part 220 of 365 in the series Inquiring Minds
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What did Paul and Barnabas disagree on in the Bible?

In Acts 15:36-40 Paul and Barnabas have a sharp disagreement about who to take with them on the missionary journeys. As they were preaching and teaching in Antioch, Paul wanted to go back and visit all the churches they had founded.

The disagreement came on which person to take with them. Paul wanted to take Silas and Barnabas wanted to take John Mark. Paul argued that John Mark had recently withdrawn from them in one of the cities they were ministering.

Paul probably thought that John Mark was too immature and unreliable to accompany them. Barnabas was willing to give John Mark another chance. So they parted ways, Paul taking Silas and John Mark going with Barnabas.

But don’t think that seats in the church can’t resolve their issues. Paul may not have thought that John Mark was ready for this particular missionary journey. But in 2 Timothy toward the end of Paul’s ministry, he requests John Mark specifically and notes that he is very useful to Paul for his ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).

Somewhere along the way Paul patched things up with John Mark. He found him very useful in his ministry, so much so that he requests for John Mark to accompany him toward the end of his ministry and possibly his life.

We need to learn of the church that even when we have disputes the matter how heated they get, we must keep an open mind and open arms. We must give people another chance, as you never know how helpful they can become.

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