Happy Tuesday. It's been a few days since my last entry. I've been enjoying some much needed rest after a few weeks of being very busy. At OFA we are doing a series that examines a 4 characters from scripture. This upcoming Sunday we are going to look at John Mark. I thought I might spend this week (here in the blog) preparing for that message.
11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.”
In these passages, Peter was just delivered from prison via an angel of the Lord. As soon as Peter is free from the jail, he immediately goes to the house of a friend. This friend was the mother of John Mark (J.M.). This is the first time we see J.M. mentioned in scripture. Interestingly enough, there was a group of people gathered there, praying. While it does not specifically say that this group was praying for Peter, I think it's safe to assume that was the case. This text does not give any more information about J.M.-only to say that we was obviously known to Peter's inner circle. I love this story story in Acts-Peter gets miraculously freed from prison-he goes to a friends home-but the person who answers the door is so overwhelmed to see him, she runs back to her friends, rather than open the door. Of course, the people do not believe her at first-but they will come around rather quickly. Think of the excitement in the room. Can you imagine being there at that moment? Christians were being persecuted at this point-I'm sure that they thought Peter was going to be killed or in prison for the rest of his life.
So, who is this John Mark fellow? Although he is not one of the main characters in the N.T., he plays a very important role in the life of Paul, Peter, and Barnabas. J.M. is thought to be Peter's scribe and interpreter. It is believed that he wrote the Gospel of Mark, which was Peter's account of his time with Jesus. There are some who believe that J.M. went on to establish the first church in Africa-but that is merely conjecture, we do not know for sure. Regardless, we can learn much from J.M.. As we will see, J.M. did not always make the best decisions-just like you and I. Stay tuned for more about John Mark.