“When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer.” Acts 12:12, NLT Mother’s Day – “A Mother”
Many a mother has provided refuge for their children and others, who have needed a safe harbor. We have benefitted from the wisdom and compassion of mothers. For all of Peter’s boldness, when he came to the realization that release from jail confinement had occurred, his first thought was to retreat to Mary’s house. For one thing, Mary like other courageous women risked their lives to shelter believers from the persecution against Christians that was rampart in the first century. Mary mentioned here in the Book of Acts, was the mother of John Mark, and the cousin of Barnabas. Both her son John Mark, and her cousin, Barnabas, would become very instrumental in advancing the Gospel message, and encouraging other believers. Although the Apostle Paul and Barnabas mentored John Mark, the emphasis on John Mark’s “mother” is exceptional for that time. Women were rarely mentioned as prominent heads of families; and were rarely permitted to be property owners. Inclusion of these aspects of Mary’s life is a tribute to her great gifts, intelligence, and integrity. Mary is described not merely as hosting believers, but as the leader of the house where “believers met.” This tribute to her character, gives us insight into a mother’s influence on others, and her son, John Mark. Character formation is not always easy, and John Mark was no exception. When John Mark assisted in missions, he wandered away from Paul and Barnabas. He offered no explanation. This and other lapses, cost John Mark an opportunity to accompany Paul on an important mission. We note, John Mark returned home. It’s possible his mother helped him overcome his faults. He matured and became an invaluable help to Paul. Thank God for mothers like Mary, and our own. This keen insight and spiritual wisdom, has helped us become wiser, mature, and more responsible.