John Mark is a minor biblical figure but had considerable contribution to the Bible, for he is the author of the Gospel of Mark. Although he wrote the narrative of Jesus, he was not an eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry.
His name first appeared in the Book of Acts. Acts 12:12 says, “And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.”
The passage described Peter’s miraculous escape from the prison. He retreated to the house where Christians gather (which happened to be John Mark’s house). Since then, many biblical scholars believe that it was the start of John Mark and Peter’s lasting relationship. For it is noted that he wrote the Gospel of Mark from Peter’s viewpoint.
According to the Church History, “Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him.”
Paul and Barnabas
The next time his name appeared was in Acts 12:25. “When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.”
This time, he’s hitting the road together with Paul and Barnabas on a mission journey. But, in the middle of their trip, he left the party and returned home to Jerusalem. They did not mention why, but his halfhearted commitment made Paul decline Barnabas to take him on their second mission travel.
Because of their heated disagreement, Paul and Barnabas parted ways. Paul took Silas while Barnabas gave John Mark a second chance.
But, if we look at Paul’s letter to Colossians (Colossians 4:10), he referred to Mark as the cousin of Barnabas. If this was the case, it might sound reasonable why Barnabas stayed loyal to John Mark.
Aside from these, there were few mentions about John Mark in the Bible. But, his connection to Peter and Paul, two of the most influential leaders of the early church, implies his significance in playing a role in spreading the good news of Jesus.
Reference: Overview Bible