You are known by many names – just like many in your time – a prominent one of which is ‘Mark, The Evangelist’; however, you are not seen very much in scripture even though you are supposedly instrumental, why is that?
I believe we all have roles to play; whether we are prominently presented or not. There are some of us who serve GOD and would never be known; there are those who would – not because they are better but – because their testimony is one of many to encourage others. I believe it is GOD who shines the spotlight on whomever HE pleases because in the end, our goal is to serve at the pleasure of HIS Will. But I believe I’ve appeared in scripture adequately. You know just as is required to be known. My mother was Mary who haboured praying believers (Acts 12:12), I am the cousin of Barnabas the great apostle (Colossians 4:10), I was once in missions with Saul who is called Paul (Acts 12:25), I’ve been recommended to many in the church (II Timothy 4:11). Whatever isn’t in scripture didn’t need to be in scripture. Besides, we should be glad to work in the shadows so that JESUS would forever be in the light. It is our goal to always portray and project JESUS and not ourselves. I reckon that must be one reason why.
For many of us, our first encounter with you was when you caused a rift between two of the “set-apart” apostles to the gentiles. How did you feel when you caused that rift between Paul and Barnabas?
Let me say we all have different personalities and approaches; GOD has blessed every servant of HIS with a peculiar view to life; the diversity – here – is not a lack of unity but an extension of the beauty that comes with balance. I think of Paul as a very strong-willed person but also a very strict one too. So when I left them at Pamphylia (Acts 13: 13), it created a strong impression of “putting the hand in the plough and turning back”. I wouldn’t blame him if he thought I might do it again. However, I am grateful Barnabas stood up for me because it served as a means to spread the width of the gospel. We divided to conquer. See the Holy Spirit at work when there is such a supposed separation for the good of the news in the gospel. What I feel is pale on comparison with the divine ordination of that supposed rift. We are all puppets to the will of GOD when we yield our bodies to the spirit – in this – GOD is accountable to how we are.
There is a lot of theological variance to this topic but if you were the writer, why did you begin the gospel narrative that way or – let me add to be safe – why do you believe the Gospel according to Mark begun that way?
The Gospel of Mark began with a single purpose in mind: recount how the gospel of JESUS began. See it as answering the many questions that were raised on the chronology of the Good-News. The Gospel began by building upon the foundation of the prophet. What has been foretold? What has been anticipated? Now it is fulfilled. What has been given for confirmation? What has been given to prove-for the right person? That is what it began with. It began with the greatest prophet because Israel believed in prophets. But it also shows prophets passing the baton of authority back to the mediator who is GOD. It is GOD who gave the prophet authority and in the first verses, we can witness them returning the authority back to GOD who then confirms that this…is…the one…who has been sent to save the whole world. Consider it as beginning with a manifesto of the gospel. With the gospel, you know that you would receive not just a baptism of water unto repentance but of the Holy Ghost unto fire and power (Mark 1:8). We would receive repentance and power to retain repentance in the fullness of the gospel.