Acts 15:36-41 (NLT)
36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, �Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.� 37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
These verses are about s second expedition designed by Paul and Barnabas to preach to the Gentiles, in which they quarrelled about their assistant, John Mark, and separated upon it, one steering one course and the other another.
"Barnabas" was actually his nickname, given him by the apostles. It meant "Son of Encouragement," and it was most appropriate. He was actually born Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus. He was probably one of many Jews became one of the earliest converts to Christianity. Unlike most Christians, Barnabas believed Paul's conversion story, and he smoothed the way for the former persecutor to be accepted by the Jerusalem church. In 48, Barnabas set off with his cousin Mark and Paul to evangelize cities in Asia Minor. Though Mark deserted the party early on, Barnabas and Paul preached, performed miracles, and endured persecution together. One early tradition, recorded by Clement of Alexandria, says Barnabas worked briefly with Jesus, being one of the 70 sent out to evangelize Palestine. Another tradition says he preached in Alexandria and Rome after leaving Paul, founded the church on Cyprus, and was finally stoned and then burned to death in about 61 in Syria.
Even among the best of friends sometimes disagreements arise. Barnabas had supported Paul�s claim of being converted to Christianity. Yet there came a time when Barnabas wanted to give his cousin John Mark an opportunity to travel with him and share the Good News of Christ. Yet for whatever reason Paul did not want John Mark to go and so to settle the dispute Paul set out on his own way.
Sometimes in life we have disputes and they need to be settles reasonably for we never know what the future holds. For in 2 Timothy 4:11 we find Paul saying the following, �Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.� Paul along the way saw John Mark�s commitment to the Lord and even his commitment to Pau himself. Had Paul burned his bridges with John Mark he would have lost a committed worker and friend to him.
Lord please help put aside disputes with family and friends. Lord help us to understand how to love the way you love us. Lord protect us from saying things against one another and to be like Barnabas who was ready to speak up on behalf of others. Father I pray we turn our attention to loving one another as you commanded us to. I pray father we learn to work alongside each other instead of going our own way due to conflict. Let us see the hope of the future and how our friendships can benefit one another for the purpose of spreading your message.
I pray these things in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.