“They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.”Acts 15:39-40
The history of missions includes exciting, adventurous stories of God’s leading and protection. Often the accounts leave those of us back home on the couch wondering if we could ever take on such challenges!
It’s interesting that the Bible has given us some detail about an argument between Paul and Barnabas over a missionary journey. Barnabas was Paul’s trusted friend, missionary colleague, and benefactor to the infant church, but he was in disagreement with Paul about whether John Mark should be making the upcoming trip with them. Their “sharp disagreement” resulted in both going their separate ways. But the Lord would use this argument to further the reach of the gospel as it went out to the world.
To go out into our world proclaiming the good news of Jesus, we must stay focused, travel light, and know when to back down. Above all, be prayerful. You can’t always be right, but you can be full of grace and charity as you bring the most marvelous message of grace and charity that the world could ever know.
Lucy asks Linus what he learned in Sunday school. He replies, “That we should go to all the world and preach the Gospel, but we didn’t. We just sat there.”