Friday, March 30, 2012

The Name “Christian” (Acts 11:26)

In what city were the believers first called Christians? Antioch (Acts 11:26)

In the nascent years of the Christian movement, the early church was seen simply as a rebellious offshoot branch of Judaism. As such, the sect was not initially associated with the word “Christian”. In fact, the word “Christianity” is not found in the Bible and “Christian” appears only sparsely.

Kenneth O. Gangel (1935-2009) reminds:

We use that term so commonly we think it must be scattered all across the New Testament, but it appears only three times—Acts 11:26, 26:28; I Peter 4:16...Christians was an outside nickname, possibly given in derision. It means “Christ followers” or “people of Christ’s party.” (Gangel, Acts (Holman New Testament Commentary ), 180)
Jesus’ followers were known by many names and “Christian” was hardly the first. From the book of Acts, Charles H. Talbert (b. 1934) catalogs:
Up to this point the followers of Jesus have been called “saints” (Acts 9:13, 32, 41), “disciples” (Acts 6:2, 7, 9:1, 10, 26, 36), “believers” (Acts 4:32, 5:4, 10:45), “the church/assembly” (Acts 2:47, 5:11, 8:1, 3, 9:31, 11:22, 26), “the brothers” (Acts 1:15, 10:23, 11:1). Now outsiders give the disciples a new name: Christianoi. (Talbert, Reading Acts: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 104)
The New Testament records that the name Christian was derived in Antioch.
and when he [Barnabas] had found him [Saul], he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (Acts 11:26 NASB)
There are two cities known as Antioch in the book of Acts, Syrian Antioch (Acts 11:19-30, 14:1-28) and Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:13-52). The moniker “Christian” originated with the former.

Syrian Antioch was a leading city in the Roman world at the time. Ben Witherington III (b. 1951) details:

Antioch, called by Josephus [37-100] “third among the cities of the Roman world” after Rome and Alexandria (War 3.29), was of great strategic importance to early Christianity. It was to be the first major cosmopolitan city outside Israel where Christianity clearly established itself as a force with which to be reckoned. Located on the Orontes, some eighteen miles upstream from its seaport on the Mediterranean (Seleucia, Pieria), Antioch was a great commercial center and near an important religious center connected with Artemis and Apollo (Daphne). It was the Roman provincial capital for Syria, and by the middle of the first century had an estimated population of a half-million people. On its coins Antioch called itself “Antioch, metropolis, sacred, and inviolable, and autonomous, and sovereign, and capital of the East.” It had come a long way since its founding by Seleucus I about 300 B.C., who named it after his father Antiochus...Jews had played a part in the city from its earliest days, and there was a considerable and well-established Jewish community in Antioch in the middle of the first century. (Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 366-267)
F.F. Bruce (1910-1990) specifies that:
Antioch was a cosmopolitan city, where Jew and Gentile, Greek and barbarian rubbed shoulders, where Mediterranean civilization met the Syrian desert; racial and religious differences which loomed so large in Judaea seemed much less important here. (Bruce, The Book of Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament), 228)
Though the name’s origin is registered, its etymology is not. Robert H. Gundry (b. 1932) acknowledges, “Luke doesn’t tell how this name was pinned on the disciples, whether by way of ridicule, for example. So he lets drop this bit of information either as a historical note or as an indication of popular recognition of the disciples’ attachment to Jesus as the Christ (Gundry, Commentary on Acts).”

The interpreter cannot even be certain when the name was given. C.K. Barrett (1917-2011) reminds:

It is doubtful whether the name originated during the time when Saul and Barnabas worked together in Antioch – Luke does not quite say that it did. It was probably used in Pompeii between the earthquake of AD 62 and the destruction of the town in AD 79. (Barrett, Acts of the Apostles: A Shorter Commentary, 175)
Scholars have developed some hypotheses as to how the name developed. I. Howard Marshall (b. 1934) relays:
The verb were called implies in all probability that ‘Christian’ was a nickname given by the populace of Antioch, and thus ‘Christ’ could well have been understood as a proper name by them, even if at this stage the Christians themselves still used it as a title; it was not long, however, before the title became increasingly more like a name for Jesus. It is likely that the name contained an element of ridicule (cf. Acts 26:28; I Peter 4:16, its only other New Testament uses). The Christians preferred to use other names for themselves, such as ‘disciples’. ‘saints’ and ‘brothers’. (Marshall, Acts (The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries), 203)
Luke Timothy Johnson (b. 1943) adds:
The term obviously based on the title christos/chrestos = Messiah. If compared to a similarly formed designation like hērōdianoi (Mark 3:6, 12:13), it appears to mean a follower of someone, or a member of a movement. The translation “Messianist” would be appropriate in English. The other New Testament occurrences are placed in the mouths of outsiders: King Agrippa (Acts 26:28), and opponents (I Peter 4:16). It appears to have originated, therefore, as a somewhat slighting designation given not by the “believers” themselves but by hostile observers (see also Tacitus, Annals 15:44). The contemporary example of the name “Moonies” given to the members of the Unification Church (based on the name of the founder, Sun Yung Moon) is instructive. (Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles (Sacra Pagina), 204-205)
There was precedent for an opprobrious name developing in Antioch. William J. Larkin, Jr. (b. 1945) recounts:
Ancient Antioch was famous for its humor, especially the coining of jesting nicknames. When an organized brigade of chanting devotees of Nero led crowds in adulation, his band of imperial cheerleaders with their ludicrous homage was quickly dubbed Augustiani. And earlier, when the devotees of the one called Christ came to public attention, they were named Christianoi, partisans of Christ (Acts 11:26). (Larkin, Acts (IVP New Testament Commentary Series), 175)
Many a truth is said in jest and even if it was intended to mock, the epithet is fitting. Though Christians in the Bible do not use the name, it obviously stuck and likely did so at an early date.

Paul Trebilco (b. 1958) notes:

Luke could well be indicating more widespread use of the term...Acts 11:26 suggests that Luke can presume his readers know the term. He does not need to explain it in any way, but can simply indicate this indication of its origin. His use of πρὡτως [“first”]also suggests the readers are to recall other times when they have heard the term, and they know of its ongoing use. At the very least, these points suggest that when Luke writes, the term was quite widely known both by outsiders (such as Agrippa) and by ‘Christians’ in a range of places. (Trebilco, Self-Designations and Group Identity in the New Testament, 282)
John J. Pilch (b. 1936) observes:
Only outsiders use the word “Christian” (Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Peter 4:16-17) in mocking or pejorative fashion. Historically the word is most appropriately used after the time of Constantine (around A.D. 300). Prior to that time, the word is anachronistic. From this point of view, there are no “Christians” in the New Testament. How can one interpret or explain this statement? (Pilch, Visions and Healing in the Acts of the Apostles: How the Early Believers Experienced God , 150-151)
As Christ is a title and Jesus is a name, why were the early followers called Christians instead of Jesusians? What would you have called Jesus’ followers? Would you rather a group be named by insiders or outsiders? What do outsiders call your church? What other common names were originally intended to be disparaging? Is there significance to the fact that the name originated in Antioch?

James S. Jeffers (b. 1956) speculates:

The followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” at Antioch according to Acts 11:26. This is probably because believers in Antioch, for the first time, stood out enough from Jews to be nicknamed “Christus-people” by the local pagans. (Jeffers, The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era: Exploring the Background of Early Christianity, 288)
Mark DeYmaz (b. 1961) and Harry Li (b. 1961) assert that it is fitting that the Christian name emerged in Antioch:
Jews loved Gentiles, Gentiles loved Jews, and they were all worshiping God together as one in the local church at Antioch...Its pastoral leadership team included two men from Africa, one from the Mediterranean, one from Asia Minor, and one from the Middle East (Acts 4:36; 9:11; 13:1), providing the church with a visible witness and a model of unity at the highest level. And it was the church at Antioch, and not the church in Jerusalem that first sent missionaries to the world. With these things in mind, it’s not coincidental that the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26). For there Christ was clearly recognized in the midst of unity, just as he had said he would be (John 17:23). (DeYmaz and Lee, Ethnic Blends: Mixing Diversity into Your Local Church (Leadership Network Innovation Series), 42)
Bruce Milne (b. 1940) concurs:
It is...highly significant that it was here that the name “Christian” began to be applied to the followers of Jesus (Acts 11:26)—a further critical indication of their sheer “newness,” but a newness, be it noted, expressed not least in the diversity of their community. The citizens of Antioch could find no serviceable term to refer to them, either within Judaism or in any other Gentile religious tradition. It was a new thing and required a new name, but one which identified it with its primary focus—the Lord Jesus Christ—and with its most obvious feature, its welcoming of every race and every type—hence “Christ-ones,” Christians. Is it too much to claim that we truly justify our right to the name Christian only when we practice diversity in unity under Christ? (Milne, Dynamic Diversity: Bridging Class, Age, Race and Gender in the Church, 46-47)
Where, if ever, were you first called “Christian”? Do Christians still stand out today? Should they? What does it mean to be a “Christian”?

“The very word ‘Christianity’ is a misunderstanding—at bottom there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.” - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), The Anti-Christ, p. 111

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What A Pity! (Psalm 103:13 )

Complete: “As a father pities his children, so ___________________________________.” The Lord pities those who fear him. (Psalm 103:13)

Psalm 103 is designated a psalm of David. Though there are no clear internal clues, for linguistic reasons, the consensus is that it is a later psalm. The hymn of praise is known for its personal tone.

Walter D. Zorn (b. 1943) lauds:

Little wonder that of all the psalms, 103 is one of the most loved. Even the person who is reading it for the first time will surely gather that the soul of the author is speaking, and that what he says reveals much about himself. (Zorn, Psalms Volume 2 (The College Press NIV Commentary: Old Testament Series), 255)
The powerful personal testimony is part of a psalm of individual thanksgiving. Geoffrey Grogan (1925-2011) describes:
This is explicitly a psalm of praise in Psalm 103:1-5 and Psalm 103:20-22, but it is implicitly so throughout, as we see from its inclusio form plus its exposition of God’s loving faithfulness to his people. (Grogan, Psalms (Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary), 172)
John Eaton (b. 1927) communicates the psalm’s structure:
This beautiful psalm takes the form of a hymn, consisting of calls to praise and reasons for praise. But a distinctive feature, imparting a heartfelt warmth, is the casting of the opening lines (Psalm 103:1-5) in the form of exhortation to the singer’s own soul, resumed only in the final phrase (Psalm 103:22b). In the rest of the psalm the expressions are those of the usual congregational hymn. (Eaton, Psalms: A Historical and Spiritual Commentary with an Introduction and New Translation (Continuum Biblical Studies), 358)
David Noel Freedman (1922-2008) and David Miano (b. 1966) add, “Psalm 103 has the earmarks of a standard alphabetic poem. It has 22 lines, corresponding to the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Its syllable and stress count also conforms to the pattern (Peter W. Flint [b. 1964] and Patrick D. Miller [b. 1935] , “Non-Acrostic Alphabetic Psalms”, The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum), 90).”

The hymn’s core focuses on divine forgiveness, assured to those who “fear the Lord” (Psalm 103:6-18). James Luther Mays (b. 1921) designates:

Three times the psalm says that the steadfast love and compassion of God are for “those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11, 13, 17). “Those who fear the LORD” is a designation used in the psalms along with the righteous, the faithful, and the servants of the LORD for those who seek to make the LORD the decisive orienting center of their lives (e.g., Psalm 25:12, 14, 31:19, 34:9, 85:9)...The fear of the LORD is simply reverence practiced in trust and obedience. (Mays, Psalms (Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching), 329-330)
In describing God’s relationship to humanity, the psalmist invokes a comparison to paternal love (Psalm 103:13).
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:13 NASB)
Though older translations render the Hebrew racham “pities” (ASV, KJV, NKJV, RSV), more recent translations use more complimentary terms: “has compassion on” (ESV, HCSB, NASB, NIV, NLT, NRSV), “feel for” (MSG), “are kind to” (CEV). This compassion stems from the paternal relationship between God and humanity. Artur Weiser (1893-1978) explains:
He chooses a simile from the sphere of man’s personal life which Hosea (Hosea 11:1-4) has portrayed in the most beautiful colours, that is, the picture of God’s fatherly love. Just as true fatherly love never deserts the child but guides him with a strong hand and does so even when the child does wrong, and just as his compassion proves itself to be greatest in precisely this latter case, so is God’s love for the man who fears him. (Weiser, The Psalms: A Commentary (The Old Testament Library), 662)
The pity discussed in the psalm is not typically associated with masculine figures. John Goldingay (b. 1942) reasons:
Although showing compassion might seem a distinctively female quality, it being related to the word for “womb,” the psalm presupposes that it is equally natural to a father. Fathers by their nature are motherly in this respect. They can thus provide an image for Yhwh as a motherly father. There is nothing distinctively Israelite about the point; Ugaritic stories characterize the senior Canaanite god El as the compassionate one. Even when confronted by his children’s rebellions, a father shows compassion. Indeed, it is their rebellions that test the reality of his compassion. (Goldingay, Psalms, Volume 3: Psalms 90-150 (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms), 172)
This paternal imagery is rare in the Old Testament. Fisher Humphreys (b. 1939) chronicles:
There are a few other passages in the Old Testament that speak of God’s having a child, and they are about kings of Israel...The Old Testament teaching about children of God is wonderful, but in it the idea that God is Father and that each of God’s people is a child of God is very limited compared with New Testament teaching. (Humphreys, I Have Called You Friends: New Testament Images That Challenge Us to Live as Christ Followers, 161)
As Humphreys alludes, Jesus frequently spoke of God in paternal terms. He instructs:
Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. (Matthew 23:9 NASB)
Do you associate compassion or pity with a specific gender? What does it mean to you that God loves you like a father? How can people who have had a bad relationship with their father relate to this verse? Were you to describe your relationship to God with one analogy, what would it be? Is it ever good to be pitied? Do you want God to pity you?

Though people tend to deflect pity, in this case it is a wonderful sentiment. The compassion of God the Father assumes a caring God who is active in the world. Mark Bredin (b. 1963) explains:

In Psalm 103:13-14 God is a compassionate Father who knows how all things were made. This very father is the one who remembers that all are dust [Psalm 103:14]. “Father” suggests that God continues to be present for his whole creation in contrast to the clock maker who stops caring about the clock once it is ticking. (Bredin, The Ecology of the New Testament: Creation, Re-Creation, and the Environment, 87)
Have you accepted the pity of God? Do you extend the same compassion to others?

“A pity beyond all telling
Is hid in the heart of love.”
- William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), “The Pity of Love” (1892)

Monday, March 26, 2012

John Mark’s Exit (Acts 13:13)

Who dropped out of the missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas and went back home? John Mark

Paul typically worked as part of what today might be called a “ministry team”. Aside from an excursion to Athens (Acts 17:16-34), Paul is never seen working alone. On his first “missionary journey”, he is accompanied by Barnabas (Acts 13:2). A man named John, also called Mark, accompanies the duo on the first leg of their travels (Acts 12:12, 25, 13:13, 15:37, 39). Tradition equates John with the Mark referenced in the New Testament epistles (Colossians 4:10; II Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24; I Peter 5:13), a relative of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10). He is commonly referred to as John Mark.

John Mark is described as a huperetes (Acts 13:5), a word with a broad definition most commonly translated as “assistant” (ESV, HCSB, NKJV, NLT, NRSV, RSV) or “helper” (CEV, MSG, NASB, NIV). Just what role John Mark plays is unclear.

Ajith Fernando (b. 1948) examines:

Some have suggested that the word “helper” here (hyperetes) has a restricted meaning similar to synagogue attendant (cf. Luke 4:20), so that Mark’s responsibility was to care for the scrolls of the Scriptures along with a “sayings of Jesus” collection. But Luke uses this word in the broader sense elsewhere (Luke 1:2; Acts 5:22, 25, 26:16), which seems to be the meaning here. As a resident of Jerusalem Mark may have had an eyewitness knowledge of events in the gospel story, especially relating to the Passion narrative, of which Paul would have availed himself. (Fernando, Acts (The NIV Application Commentary), 375)
Ben Witherington III (b. 1951) speculates that John Mark was more than a mere gofer:
John Mark...served as a υπηρετης. This term can have a variety of senses but its general sense is of a servant or helper, any subordinate assistant. Probably, in view of the use of the term in Luke 1:2 and Acts 26:16, it means more than just someone who helped with material aid or practical arrangements (though cf. Acts 5:22, 26, 20:34, 24:23). Presumably Mark helped in preaching and teaching in some way, but Luke does not care to be more specific. He is in any case not portrayed as a major figure in this venture. (Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 395)
While in Perga in Pamphylia, something unusual occurs. Though no missional activity is recorded, the text informs that John Mark leaves the team.
Now Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; but John left them and returned to Jerusalem. (Acts 13:13 NASB)
John Mark’s desertion is evidence that Christians were free to leave the mission field at any time. Though Paul writes of deserters (I Timothy 1:20), this abandonment is an anomaly in Acts.

John Mark returns home to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13), presumably to the home of his pious mother, Mary (Acts 12:12). Though Acts offers no rationale for John Mark’s exit many have hazarded guesses. Some have examined the verbs for clues.

C. Clifton Black (b. 1955) analyzes:

In both classical and Hellenistic Greek, the verb ἀποχωρειν means generally “to go away from” or “to depart,” though it can carry the connotation of retirement or withdrawal after a defeat (such as an army might do in battle: Thucydides [460-395 BCE}, Peloponnesian War 2.89). Beyond Acts 13:13 this verb appears only twice in the New Testament. At Luke 9:39, with reference to a demonic spirit, it may, though need not, carry this nuance of capitulation (and probably does not do so in Matthew 7:23). The other verb in Acts 13:13b, ὑποστρέφειν, may simply be translated as “to return,” its most common connotation in Luke-Acts (see, e.g., Luke 1:56; Acts 1:12), or it can convey the more negative nuance of retreat under fire. (Richard P. Thompson [b. 1958] and Thomas E. Phillips, “John Mark in the Acts of the Apostles”, Literary Studies in Luke-Acts: Essays in Honor of Joseph B. Tyson [b. 1928], 108-109)
Luke Timothy Johnson (b. 1943) adds:
The two verbs used by Luke suggest something more than a simple return home: apochōreō can be used in the sense of “removing oneself from” someone’s opinions (Epictetus [55-135], Discourse 4, 1, 53); the use in LXX Jeremiah 46:5 implies a turning back in fear or cowardice, and in III Maccabees 2:33, it means something like apostasy. It is striking that Luke will use another form of the verb (apochōrizomai) for the later separation of Barnabas and Paul. (Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles (Sacra Pagina), 229)
Many reasons have been suggested for John Mark’s departure. I. Howard Marshall (b. 1934) recounts the usual suspects:
Did he resent the fact that Paul was now the leader, while his cousin Barnabas was relegated to second place? Or did he not want to go further than Cyrprus? Or did he lose courage? Or was there some other reason? We simply are not told, but it is clear from Acts 15:38 that Paul regarded his defection as a serious matter, while Barnabas was prepared to make allowances for him. (Marshall, Acts (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries), 222)
Kenneth O. Gangel (1935-2009) narrows the list, writing, “Acts 15:37-39 makes it clear that a genuine falling out occurred on the team. This would seem to eliminate speculation that illness or fear of danger alone created the problem (Gangel, Acts (Holman New Testament Commentary ), 214).”

The timing of the incident fits a dissatisfaction with a shift in leadership. The verse that recounts John Mark’s withdrawal also marks the first time the text describes Paul as the leader of the operation - “Paul and his companions” (Acts 13:13).

F.F. Bruce: (1910-1990) notes:

When the expedition sets out from Syria, Luke speaks of “Barnabas and Saul”; by the time they leave Cyrpus, it is “Paul and his company.” It is unlikely that this change of expression is due purely to a change of source. (Bruce, The Book of Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament), 251)
Most think the issue runs deeper than petty jealousy. William H. Willimon (b. 1946) suggests that the personal row masks a deeper issue:
The reason that Luke gives for the breakup of the Paul and Barnabas team does not square with Paul’s version in Galatians 2:11-13. Paul’s own assertion that he had doctrinal differences with Barnabas does not fit into Luke’s purposes, so he transformed a theological dispute between Barnabas and Paul into a personal quarrel concerning the quitter, John Mark, who had withdrawn during the first missionary journey (Acts 13:13). (Willimon, Acts: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, 133)
Richard N. Longenecker (b. 1930) theorizes that the theological issue at stake is Paul’s mission to the Gentiles:
Mark may have been concerned about the effect news of a direct Christian mission to Gentiles would have in Jerusalem and on the church there and may have wanted no part in it. It was his return to the Christian community in Jerusalem that may originally have stirred the “Judaizers” in the church to action. (Longenecker, Acts (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 217)
R. Alan Culpepper (b. 1946) dissects:
The hypothesis that he was not willing to participate in Paul’s mission to the Gentiles has much to commend it: (1) Mark made his decision soon after their encounter with the gentile proconsul. (2) Luke uses Mark’s Hebrew name, John in Acts 13:13. (3) John Mark returned not to Antioch, but to Jerusalem...(4) In Acts 15:38 Paul refuses to take Mark along because he had not “...gone with them to the work.” The occurrence of to ergon in Acts 13:2...and in Acts 14:26...clearly indicate that “the work” in which Mark refused to participate was the mission to the Gentiles. (5) That the gentile question was the issue is further suggested by the observation that Paul reports in Galatians 2:13 that even Barnabas was carried into hypocrisy over the question of the table-fellowship with Gentiles...The convergence of these considerations strongly suggests that John Mark withdrew from the mission because he could not in good conscience participate in the offering of the Gospel to the Gentiles. After the Jerusalem conference he apparently changed his mind (Acts 15:37-38). (Culpepper, “Paul’s mission to the Gentile World: Acts 13-19,” Review and Expositor 71 (1974): 488)
Furthermore, John Mark was not only associated with Jerusalem in general but with Peter in particular as Peter stays at his home (Acts 12:12) and John Mark is even called his “son” in the Petrine epistles (I Peter 5:13). John Mark might have been the first person to feel he was robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The early missionaries certainly did not have an easy task and any or all of these reasons could have contributed to John Mark’s early exit. Though the reason for John Mark’s departure must remain conjecture, it is certain that Paul is extremely displeased with the young man’s lack of commitment. In Paul’s view, he is fighting a war and John Mark is a deserter. Paul might have even perceived the slight as inexcusable as he refuses to allow John Mark to rejoin the team and even splits with Barnabas over the issue (Acts 15:37-38).

Have you ever quit anything? Why did you? Why do you think John Mark returns home? Do you think that any rationale would have been justifiable in Paul’s eyes? Was John Mark not supposed to be on this journey?

Paul may not be merely holding a grudge against his former ministry partner. John C. Maxwell (b. 1947) rationalizes:

Everywhere he [Paul] went, he took companions. He considered the time he spent with them an investment. And if he didn’t see a return, for example, in the case of John Mark who didn’t accompany him to Antioch (Acts 13:13), Paul was reluctant to keep investing in him (Acts 15:37-40). (Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and Empower Your Leadership, 348)
Though we do not know the specifics, John Mark is redeemed. Tradition asserts that he is the author of the Gospel of Mark. Given his presence in later Pauline epistles, it can also be assumed that John Mark and Paul eventually patch up their relationship. C.K. Barrett (1917-2011) affirms, “Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24; II Timothy 4:11...give a good hint of later reconciliation (Barrett, Acts of the Apostles: A Shorter Commentary, 200).”

Guy Greenfield (1931-2007) relates Paul’s reaction to parental disappointment, including (in these terms) a predictable reconciliation:

Paul...expressed his sense of disappointment, even resentment, over Mark’s cowardly behavior (Acts 15:36-41), so much so that Paul and Barnabas chose to go their separate ways on the next journey. Years later, Paul and Mark reconciled their differences, and Paul, in his last letter, instructed Timothy to “get Mark and bring him with you; for he is very useful in serving me” (II Timothy 4:11; cf. Colossians 4:10). (Greenfeld, The Wounded Parent: Hope for Discouraged Parents, 102)
Has anyone ever lost confidence in you? With whom do you need to be reconciled? Who has given you a second chance? To whom do you need to extend an opportunity for redemption?

“You mustn’t confuse single failure with a final defeat.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), Tender is the Night, p. 157