Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 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. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus;
The first time I read this scripture I thought, “Oh, no! Paul and Barnabas are breaking u the team!”
It’s a tragedy when Christians don’t agree and I thought this one was of great proportions. It gives others a reason to talk, spread rumors, gossip, and misunderstanding.
That was probably around 1978 while in Bible College.
Today I have a different idea on it.
Although the contention became sharp between Paul and Barnabas, they did not let it hamper their evangelical efforts.
They did not let it fester into something totally blown out of proportion.
They did not let this develop into a toxic relationship between the two of them.
By departing ways, the missionary effort is doubled.
By departing ways, they quench any efforts to fuel the fire.
This is not such a great contention to cause a lifelong disagreement between all parties.
Paul would later say, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.” 2 Tim 4:11
So before a relationship can go truly sour and become poisonous, perhaps it is better to depart ways as friends than to remain together as foes.