We heard how John Mark abandoned Paul during his missionary journey. This same John Mark reconciled with Paul later on, and this same John Mark became the writer of the oldest gospel, which we now call the gospel according to Mark. Later on, in his letter to Timothy, Paul says, “Bring John back to me because he has been a good helper.”

On the other hand, the gospel also speaks of a friend abandoning a friend. Jesus referred to Judas when He said,*One who partook of bread with Me, has raised his heel against Me. The one whom I trusted, has betrayed me. And yet we see a very clear difference between the betrayal and the abandonment of John Mark and that of Judas. John Mark abandoned Paul, but later reconciled with him to become one of the great evangelists. Judas abandoned Jesus but refused to reconcile. He gave in to despair and eventually killed himself, condemning himself forever. There you have the story, dear brothers and sisters. Reconciliation offered and accepted, and also, reconciliation rejected.

In every community, we cannot avoid conflict. In every community, we cannot avoid hurting one another. If you do not want to hurt one another, then everybody should probably be put on Valium 24 hours a day. But this is certainly not God’s will for us. In building a community, it is inevitable to have conflict. But what makes a Christian community is not conflict. What makes a Christian community is that we can heal and reconcile beyond every conflict.

Acts 13:13
Jesus In My Heart


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