Cloud of Witnesses


John Mark

A man who blew it

Tags: forgiveness relationships integrity gifts

FAO Leader. Aim of the Study; to look at someone who made a mistake but was given a second chance; to consider how willing we are to give others another chance. To reflect on ways in which we have all ‘blown it’ and to ask God to forgive us and turn those things around for his glory. This study is quite personal , considering our mistakes, some of the questions may work better in pairs or 3’s – make sure there is time for people to pray for each other at the end.

To start you off

1. If you look back on your life what is the one thing you a. Are most proud of doing? B. Regret most?

The Bible bit


The bible is full of individuals who blew it – Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, David, Peter – to name just a few. John Mark is also on that list. He makes an appearance in a number of places in the New Testament. From the following passages piece together his ‘story’.

  • Acts 12.6-12
  • Acts 12.25
  • Acts 13.1-5 & 13
  • Acts 15.36-41

2. A. Paul is adamant that John Mark in unreliable and has let God down in ‘deserting’ their mission trip, Barnabas however wants to give him a second chance. Which of those two responses would you be most likely to adopt? Why?

B. What teaching does Jesus/ the rest of the New Testament give about second chances?

C. When would you say it is wise/ unwise to trust someone with responsibility again after they have ‘blown it’?

3. When have you been given a second chance? What was your response to that? In what way did it affect you?

4. Now Read.

  • Colossians 4.10-11
  • Philemon. 24
  • 2 Tim 4.11
  • 1 Pet 5.13

5. What conclusions can you draw about John Mark, his long term ministry and his relationship with the apostles? What might this teach us about forgiveness and restoration?

6. Encourage people to share (in pairs or 3’s) something they feel they have ‘blown’ and to pray for each other asking God to forgive them, bring restoration and bring something good out of that situation/ circumstance.

Leader's Notes

Different people could look up & read out the different texts to save time & you could write down the observations on a big piece of paper as you go through them

4B. Peter’s denial & restoration, woman caught in adultery, Paul’s conversion, are classics – there is a common theme of genuine repentance though!

© Ruth Perrin 2008. Last revised on 1 December 2008