They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.
It’s reality. Sometimes even faithful students of Jesus disagree. Even sharply!
Here the disagreement arises between the apostle Paul and Barnabas over whether John Mark should be allowed to go with them on their second missionary journey.
As with most such troubles between students of Jesus, the issue is not over absolute right and wrong. In those cases, believers can often find common ground by consulting and discussing the relevant Scriptures on the issue.
Yet sometimes, divisions are created by differing interpretations of the Scriptures. Many of the different kinds of Christian churches in the world today are the result of honest differences of opinion about God’s Word.
Here, however - as is usually the case - the problem arises over different ideas about how to do something both Paul and Barnabas agree ought to be done. Taking the Message of Jesus to those who haven't heart it!
And as is also very often true, both Paul and Barnabas probably have good solid reasons for their differing opinions about taking John Mark this time.
It’s easy to see why Paul wouldn’t want him along again. After all, he deserted them the first time, turned back and left them high and dry.
It’s also understandable why Barnabas would want to give the young man a second chance to serve.
Both right! Both unwilling to compromise! That’s a recipe for a division of some degree.
Yet, since both were men of good will, God uses the split to create a more effective plan. Barnabas takes John Mark and Paul takes Silas. The result is two missionary journeys instead of one!
It Happens! But such disagreements usually do no lasting harm.