Sometimes "sent" people make mistakes on this Gospel-oriented life adventure. Mark made a mistake; he wasn’t ready for pioneer missions. Paul made a mistake; he was too harsh. Barnabas made a mistake; he separated from his close friend. We all make mistakes! How can we make the most of them? .
Step Back: Mark went back to Jerusalem. Mark needed some space to sort this out if he was going to be a team player.
Scale Down: Mark had to go back to Jerusalem and think things over a little more before he engaged in the rigors of pioneer missions where you’re up against all kinds of challenges. He had to get back to something familiar in order to process what this all meant for him.
Change Patterns: Eighteen years after the events of Acts, chapter 15, Paul has evidently changed, and so has John Mark! Something in your life went before the mistakes you’ve made. You were trying to get validated; you were trying to prove your worth; you were reacting to a hurt or disappointment in your life; you were searching for your purpose; you were trying to numb some pain that may have been unacknowledged. Understand these issues enough so that you can steer shy of future mistakes, especially when you know your tendencies.
Rebuild Credibility: Mark was mentored by Peter (who happened to know a thing or two about failure). Just as Paul had adopted Timothy as his young disciple, so Peter had adopted Mark. The apostle who benefited most by a second chance given by God, now discipled his son in the faith, this son of the second chance. It takes time to rebuild trust with others and to personally sort out what’s truly important to you. People will question your actions and motivations and only time can convince them you’re for real this time. When you’ve broken trust, you have to do extra things to build it back; its par for the course for those who have stung others with betrayal.
Take Time: It took Mark 10 years or more to sort things out and for Paul to change his mind about him.