Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11 NIV)
Have you ever had a bad school report?
Here are some famous people who clearly could have done better according to their school reports:
- “This boy will never get anywhere in life.”
- Eric Morecambe
- “He must devote less of his time to sport if he wants to be a success You can’t make a living out of football.”
- Gary Lineker
- “Certainly on the road to failure…hopeless rather a clown in class…wasting other pupils’ time.”
- John Lennon
- “Judi would be a very good pupil if she lived in this world.”
- Dame Judi Dench
- “He has glaring faults and they have certainly glared at us this term.”
- Stephen Fry
- “He has no ambition. If he were to exert himself he might yet be first at the end of term. Very truthful, but a regular ‘pickle’ in many ways at present…Is a constant trouble to everybody and is always in some scrape or other. He cannot be trusted to behave himself anywhere.”
- Winston Churchill
- “He will never amount to anything”
- Albert Einstein
After receiving these comments on their school reports it would have been easy for these people to have given up on themselves and not gone on to excel in their particular field.
Another person who was given a bad report was John Mark. He was given the opportunity to travel with Paul and Barnabas on their very first missionary journey. Yet he didnt last long; running back home to Jerusalem. (Acts 13:13)
As Paul and Barnabas began their second missionary journey, John Mark became a source of sharp contention between the two. Barnabas was determined to give John Mark another chance, but Paul didnt want to waste time on someone who had proven himself a deserter. (Acts 15:36–40)
Thats a pretty damning judgment to have on your school report. Was that the end for John Mark? Had he given up on himself? Apparently not!
Later John Mark becomes part of Pauls ministry team. Paul mentions him by name as being present with him. (Colossians 4:10, Philemon 24) and he was regarded as a son in the faith by Peter (1 Peter 5:13).
When Paul wrote his final letter from prison before being executed, he calls for John Mark who is very useful to me for ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11 ESV) The King James Version renders this as profitable to me for the ministry.
John Mark was indeed a profitable servant, going on to write one of the four gospels about the life of Jesus Christ.
An important lesson from Marks life is if youve failed before and you are given a bad report, dont give up on yourself.
God uses imperfect people like John Mark, and like you and me.
Dont quit because of past failures, thinking you will never amount to anything.
Be encouraged, with Gods help you too can be profitable in ministry.
Father, thank you that you never give up on us and that you use us despite our failures. Help us to never give up on ourselves as we seek to be profitable servants in your service
Have a good week being useful in ministry,