– Mark/John Mark was the son of Mary, a woman of wealth and position in Jerusalem; see Acts 12:5-12.
Historians claim the “upper room” was in this same house. So, Mark would have had first-hand access – and possibly was witness – to the Last Supper, the appearance of Jesus to the 10 apostles on Easter night, the appearance by Jesus to the 11 apostles a week later, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, etc. It seems this home – the home Mark lived in – had become the nerve center of the early church/ It is believed Mark 14:13 speaks of Mark (14:12-16).
– Mark was a close friend (and possibly convert) of Peter; see 1Peter 5:13.
He became 1 of the 70 Disciples, being among the first followers of Jesus.
See Mark 14:51,52; it is believed Mark is speaking of himself.
– According to the historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, Herod Agrippa 1, in his first year of reign over all of Judea (41AD), killed James, son of Zebedee, and arrested Peter, planning to kill him after the Passover. Peter was miraculously rescued by angels, and escaped (Acts 12:1-19). Peter went to Antioch, the through Asia Minor (visiting the churches mentioned in 1 Pet. 1:1), and arrived in Rome in the second year of Emperor Claudius (42AD); it seems John Mark went with Peter. It was probably during this time that Mark wrote down sermons and stories told by Peter, thus composing the Gospel of Mark.
Mark’s Gospel was probably the first Gospel written. Much of it seems to have come from Peter’s firsthand telling.
– Barnabas was Mark’s cousin; see Col. 4:10.
He had the rare privilege of going with Paul and Barnabas on the 1st missionary journey (Acts 13:5) (46AD). But, it seems – when things got tough – Mark decided to pack up and go back home to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13).
Later, when Paul & Barnabas were planning their 2nd missionary journey, Paul was determined Mark should not go with them (Acts 15:36-41) (49AD).
– Fortunately, Mark’s story doesn’t end there. Barnabas, the great encourager, took Mark with him to Cyprus on a missionary tour of his own. As part of this trip, Mark founded the Church of Alexandria. He is considered the founder of Christianity in Africa.
– Apparently, this second opportunity for Mark to show himself faithful paid off, because, 12 years later (61AD), as Paul wrote his letters to the Colossians & Philemon, he referred to Mark as his fellow worker; see Col. 4:10; Phil. 1:24.
And, some of the last words we have from Paul (66AD) have Paul requesting John Mark to come to be with him; see 2Tim. 4:11.
Mark/John Mark is a shining example of the power of God to redeem failed disciples. Our God is the God of second chances!
* Failure in life does not mean the end of usefulness.
You can read Mark’s story throughout the New Testament; 1Peter 5:13; Mark 14:13,51,52; Acts 12:5-12; 13:1-5,36-41; Colossians 4:10; Philippians 1:24; 2Timothy 4:11.