They . . . took along with them John, the one also called Mark.
During Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabas, Mark served as an “attendant,” perhaps caring for their physical needs. However, when they reached Pamphylia, Mark suddenly left his companions in the lurch. They had to travel without him north through an area notorious for bandits. (Acts 13:5, 13) Apparently, though, Barnabas saw past Mark’s inconsistent behavior and later seized the opportunity to complete his training. (Acts 15:37-39) This helped the young man to become a mature servant of Jehovah. Interestingly, Mark was in Rome with Paul, who was then imprisoned, and joined in sending greetings to the Christians in the Colossian congregation, and the apostle spoke favorably of him. (Col. 4:10) Imagine the feeling of satisfaction that Barnabas must have had when Paul even requested Mark’s assistance.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your spirit is good; may it lead me on level ground.
Although Jehovah makes his counsel freely available, he does not force anyone to follow it. We need to ask for his holy spirit, and he will give it to us generously. (Luke 11:10-13) It is essential, though, that we ‘pay attention to how we listen.’ (Luke 8:18) For example, it would be hypocritical to ask Jehovah for help to overcome an inclination toward immorality while continuing to look at pornography or watch immoral movies. We actually need to put ourselves in places or circumstances where Jehovah’s spirit is. We know that his spirit is at the congregation meetings. Many servants of Jehovah have avoided disaster by listening to Jehovah during our meetings. As a result, they have become aware of wrong desires developing in their heart and have corrected their ways.
God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you executed on a stake.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter told the Jews: “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit.” (Acts 2:22, 23, 37, 38) That day, some 3,000 people were added to the new nation of spiritual Israel. (Acts 2:41) Afterward, the zealous preaching of the apostles continued to bear more fruit. (Acts 6:7) Later, the preaching work was extended to the Samaritans, with good success. Many were baptized by the evangelizer Philip, but they did not immediately receive the holy spirit. The governing body in Jerusalem sent the apostles Peter and John to these Samaritan converts, and “they laid their hands on them, and they began to receive holy spirit.” (Acts 8:5, 6, 14-17) Hence, these Samaritans also became spirit-anointed members of spiritual Israel. w14 11/15 5:3, 4