a coming cloak, Acts 15

20 Apr

today we end Acts 15 thinking, reading 📖 about conflict ..,there is

Disagreement, a sharp, between Saul/Oaul and Barnabas

36 ‘Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.’

a key word, from verse 39…‘sharp

Barnabas and Saul/Paul have had many words together: encouraging and challenging words; loving and disturbing ones; angry and silent, unspoken ones. This day, all their looks and moments are sharp -whether spoken with sound or with a silent look.

Sometimes, even the best of sisters, friends, family, people …Shannons, Deardras, Beths, Sarahs, have conflict that is not immediately resolved.

Yet, in their shared past, in their shared lives and shared troubles… think of their beginnings together- think of what in their present they refuse to share: John Mark

Barnabas stood by the murderous Saul when no one else did; now he stands by the deserter John Marl. But Saul won’t stand by Barnabas’ man. Why?

Because, Saul could not forgive John Mark for deserting them.

Paul is still, in part, Saul. But, at this time, however…

But Barnabas can forgive. And he does. And this changes John Mark’s life.

The encourager forgives. He has to the courage to give. Paul, still in process; he is not yet fully ‘Paul.’ He is still in part the Pharisee he was as Saul: judging others, and himself, mercy never to another. Squeeze all.

Even himself.

Thus, by the nature of Paul’s and Barnabas’ characters, there was no real choice. Sharply, they had to agree to disagree. They part for a time. But they reunite in Rome in the form of a delivered cloak. ( 2nd Timothy 4:12) and at this moment, Paul is the encourager if others, and especially of John Mark.

The Saul, who could not show mercy after he was shown great mercy, now does so. why?how?

Saul/Paul had to go to Rome to be complete. And he needed his cloak. He needed more than a cloak, he needed to forgive and encourage. He needed to move fully from Saul to Paul. And he does. And he does so by becoming a Barnabas who encourages and gives care.

And Paul does do with his Saul. Complete, he finishes his journeys in Rome, cloaked in love and forgiveness; cloaked by Barnabas and friends. Cover, cloaked by John Mark and his love.


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