Ann Farabee column: Mark my word

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 21, 2021

By Ann Farabee

His name was John Mark, but we call him by his last name — Mark.

He was younger than those he hung out with.

It was hard for him to stay with a task.

He got excited at times.

One could safely say he was impulsive, impetuous, and impatient.

Mark wrote an account of when Jesus was betrayed and arrested. All the disciples had left, but one young man was following the crowd, wearing just a linen cloth. As they tried to arrest him, he left the cloth behind and fled. Yes — he ran naked through the crowd.

When Mark wrote this, he failed to mention that he was this young man who left his linen cloth behind and fled.

But — on his behalf — this happened in the middle of the night and he ran outside to see what was going on. He probably did not have time to get dressed.

Mark decided he wanted to go on a mission trip with his cousin Barnabas. Paul, who was in charge of that trip, did not approve. He felt Mark was too young, but he finally allowed him to go. Mark made it to the second stop of the trip, abandoned the group, and headed home. I would think that perhaps Paul said to Barnabas, “I told you so!”

Paul’s next mission trip was being planned and Mark again wanted to go.

Paul refused. But, as time passed, Mark matured and began going on mission trips.

Second Timothy 4:11 tells us that as Paul was preparing for a later trip, he said to Barnabas, “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is a great help to me in ministry.”

That spoke volumes. A young boy had grown up and had become a great help in ministry.

Mark is considered to be the writer who most shared the human emotions of Jesus. Perhaps he acknowledged some of those emotions because he felt them, too.

So, how about Mark? Mark was just Mark being Mark.

He was being who God made him to be.

Mark my word — he was one who wanted to be in on the action — but he also had a heart to serve.

So, how did Mark become a great help to Paul in ministry? Some credit goes to his mother. The home he grew up in — was the home where people would often gather to pray.

Mark grew up around prayer warriors.

Mark grew up learning to pray.

Mark grew up learning about Jesus.

Mark made mistakes.

Mark had trouble completing tasks.

Mark needed strong leadership in his life.

It appears that Mark was imperfect, but God used him perfectly.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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