Discipleship: Mutual Apprenticing Plan

Day 3 of 4 • This day’s reading


Paul and Mark

During three years in close proximity with Jesus, Peter, James, and Johne saw Him in all kinds of situations, at all kinds of times and places. They got to know His character in private and in public, in the mundane and in the spotlight. They messed up here and there, but His mercy and His grace gently refined rough edges in their character and taught them lessons by trust and example that empowered them to become apostles – sent ones – who would continue to change the whole world.

Jesus is the perfect example. But not the only one.

We know Paul from various discipling relationships, maybe most notably with Timothy, along with the famous Multiplication Mandate (that we analyze in another YouVersion reading plan) of 2 Timothy 2:2- “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

One that sometimes falls through the cracks, for lack of detail (and for spotty storyline!), is Paul’s discipling relationship with Mark. Mark, of course, is very well known as the author of the Gospel of Mark! And he is connected with Peter. In fact, Mark first appears on the scene in Acts 12: 11-12 - after Peter is freed from prison, he heads straight for Mark’s mother’s home (Mary). 

And it was right around then that Saul (that’s our Paul before his name change), connected with Mark (in Acts 12:25) along with Barnabas, on a mission.

Now, if we’re to use 2 Timothy 2:2 as the template for discipling, we can expect that Barnabas and Saul (Paul) followed Jesus’ example with ‘the Three’ from Day 1 and Day 2, in being with Mark all hours of the day (certainly during their extensive travelling!). However, there was a crisis at some point that ruptured this discipling relationship. Even the great apostle Paul had issues in discipling. There were problems that couldn’t be fixed with a quick prayer or over a short coffee. That should be encouraging to you in your experience has been less than perfect. And it is to this true-to-life wrinkle we will turn in Day 4.