2018 10 14 Gill Khoury The Deserter

2018 10 14 Gill Khoury The Deserter
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Create DateOctober 23, 2018
Last UpdatedOctober 23, 2018

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THE DESERTER             Sermon Summary: Gill Khoury                        14/10/2018


When we look at the N T, the Bible shows characters in all aspects the good and the bad. It doesn’t flatter them, it tells the brutal truth.


But why? Why not sanitise the account and tell us the nice things. Because, in essence we are similar to those characters. We are both weak and strong and in hearing their stories we learn about ourselves.


Today’s story is about John Mark

John Mark was a cousin of Barnabas and helper to both he and Paul.


Acts 13: 3-4

On Cyprus

4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.


After they left Cyprus, John quit and returned  to Jerusalem.


In Pisidian Antioch

13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down.


Why did John leave?

  • 1) Change of leadership?
  • 2) Disagreement on whether Gentiles should get the gospel
  • 3) He couldn’t handle the hardships


So what can we learn from the story?


  1. Ministry can be very tough: Especially if there are problems with other Christians
  2. Decisions have consequences

John’s decision led to reputational damage

Takes a long time to repair

John’s decision caused Paul and Barnabas to separate

  1. Every conflict has the same structure

An issue

Varying viewpoints

  1. Separation should be last resort.

This is not a prime example of good conflict resolution.

Listen to the other person. And not just to plan a response

Look for win win.

Care enough to stay long enough to resolve it.

Separation is a last resort, not a first.


  1. Christ can redeem any situation

Our last mistake is not the last word on us.

Paul and John Mark are reconciled.


Philippians 2:3-4 New International Version

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.

Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.


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