Our lady of the Bible for this week is one of those that we don't know too much about. She's mentioned briefly, but we can pull out some nuggets from situations we see her in, as well as the actions of people around her.
Let's dive in!
We see several Marys mentioned in the New Testament, but the mother of Mark (yes, that one that wrote a gospel account) is only spoken of once. We've touched on it before, when we studied the young servant girl, Rhoda, whose job it was to determine who was at the door of the home, and usher them inside. We saw that Rhoda was so excited about Peter being at the door, that she left him without welcoming him inside, and rushed to tell the folks praying in the house that she heard Peter at the door!
So, it was at Mary's house that incident happened . . . .
(Acts 12:12)Because Mary was mentioned as the mother of John Mark, instead of being mentioned as the wife of someone, scholars tell us that she was likely a widow. Colossians gives us a clue as to her family:
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (Colossians 4:10a)The scholars who are more knowledgeable than I, tell us that makes her a sister or sister in law to Barnabas, who accompanied Paul on his missionary journey. This is the same Barnabas who was moved by the Spirit to sell his land and bring the money to be used by the church leaders in Jerusalem. Apparently Mary herself was prosperous, too, for her home was large enough to be used as a space for gatherings of the Christians in the city.
Peter knew her home well, and he called John Mark, "his son" in I Peter 5; John Mark was his spiritual son, for he had led him to yield his life to the Savior.
The Christians in Jerusalem knew her home and her steadfast support of the believers, for it was there that they were all gathered to pray for Peter's safety and his release. What an example for us of godliness and faithfulness!
She must have been a very faithful and devout person, for it seems that her son, John Mark, was well-prepared for a life of ministry. First they would have followed the Law and all of its tenets, and then they joyfully accepted Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. Her leadership of the little family, even as a lowly widow (remember they didn't have much social or community standing back then) was an inspiring example to her son and to others in the family of the believers.
We'll learn more about Mary, Mark's mom, this week!