The controversy over John Mark has raised numerous debates regarding the relationship between Barnabas and Paul after the disagreement. This is because, after they parted ways after the disagreement, their story ended in the narrative of Acts, and there is no scripture that states or proves their reconciliation. However, the scripture only says that, they both got a favor in their active ministry after the dispute. John Mark has been named in the book of Acts as an assistant to both Barnabas and Paul, when he accompanied them, on one of their missionary journeys. According to Acts, 12:25, the Bible states that, "When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem; taking with them John, also called Mark." There was a dispute between Paul and Barnabas after John went back to Jerusalem leaving them on their first missionary journey and Paul saw him as unreliable, while Barnabas still wanted him to accompany them.
There was a controversy between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark. This controversy is recorded in the book of Acts 15:37-40 and it says, "Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. " When Barnabas and Paul went to Salamis to proclaim the word of God, John Mark was with them and assisted them in spreading the good news, however, when they were set to sail from Paphos through Pergia, he left them and went back to Jerusalem. This is the point where the contention between Paul and Barnabas started because, when Barnabas wanted to take John with them, Paul refused to take John Mark with them stating that, he had withdrawn from them, while in Pamphylia. Paul chose Silas instead and separated from Barnabas who took John Mark with him, sailing to Cyprus.
The controversy between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark made them part ways, yet initially, they were always together preaching. The reason as to why John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem has not been told in the bible, however, it led to the disagreement between Barnabas and Paul which made them part ways completely and this was the end of the in the book of Acts. Paul thought that John was unreliable, while Barnabas never saw it as a great deal when John returned to Jerusalem and wanted him back in the team.
Paul’s former Jewish friends treated him as a radical, while the apostles treated him as the prosecutor he was, they never saw him as a changed man who was preaching the gospel of Christ. It was thorough Barnabas that the apostles were able to understand Paul and accept him as one of their own in the kingdom of God. Saul was a vicious persecutor of Christians, that even after his conversion to Christianity; the apostles never believed he had changed. It was through Barnabas who persuaded the disciples to let him fellowship with the apostles, since he was a changed man. This is when a bond between Barnabas and Paul was formed and they started missionary work together. On their first mission, they took John Mark with them who in turn left them and this created a disagreement between the two.
Even though Paul converted into a Christian, he always considered himself as a Jew, however, he criticized Judaism. The fact that Paul criticized Judaism does not mean that he broke his ties with Judaism, he was always a Jew. In fact, Paul prayed that all the Jews became good Christians. According to Romans 9:2-3, Paul says, "I have a great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." Paul was describing his anguish in the disbelief of his fellow Jews, he was a Jew who believed and served God, but his fellow men had refused to change and accept Christ Jesus. This evidently shows that, he was a Jew. In his accounts, he proclaimed to be speaking as a Jew, meaning, he was always a Jew, despite his conversion to Christianity. Nonetheless, he saw himself as a good Jew who had recognized the Messiah and at times, distanced himself from Judaism. On the other hand, Paul distanced himself from his Jews roots when he started preaching the Gospel of Christ in addition to condemning circumcision. Initially, persecuted Christians, but after his conversion, he preached the Gospel of Christ bringing many to Christ. In Galatians 1:10, he says "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." He further adds, "For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being." Paul distanced himself from his Jewish roots and focused on preaching the Gospel of Christ.