Metaphysical meaning of Mark (mbd)
Mark, märk (Gk. fr. Lat.)--brilliant; shining; polite.
John Mark was the son of a woman named Mary. His home was in Jerusalem. He was the cause of such a sharp dispute between Paul and Barnabas that they ceased traveling together on their preaching tours (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:13; :37-39). In Colossians 4:10 he is called the cousin of Barnabas. He also wrote the Gospel named Mark.
Meta. John means grace and mercy of the Lord, "love working by faith." Mark means brilliant, shining, polite. John Mark had two natures: one, a polite and brilliant exterior that was affected by the people of the mixed state at Pamphylia; the other, a deep spiritual nature, which was called out and developed by the confidence that Barnabas placed in him.
Mark's mother was one of those Marys of the Bible who belong to the devotional, substance, and serving side of the soul. Mark was one of Peter's converts, though he possibly followed Jesus personally. Some authorities believe that his Gospel was written under Peter's direction. In I Peter 5:13 Peter refers to him as "my son." Born of Mary, the child of love, and begotten again into spiritual birth by the word of faith (Peter), the spiritual side of the quality that John Mark represents in us has a work to do that cannot be done by any other. When it comes to Perga (meaning earthy) in Pamphylia (mixture of nations) for the first time it feels that it cannot bear the materiality of the outer consciousness, and so returns to Jerusalem, its home, the heart or peace center. However, as faith becomes more firmly established in us and as love develops throughout the entire consciousness, a deep yearning to be of service in redeeming the organism inspires this quality again to activity. With the aid of tolerance and kindly, patient admonition (which Barnabas represents here), together with a spurring on by Paul, the zealous will, the necessary strength and courage are imparted to this spiritual quality in us to enable it to carry on its specific ministry boldly and successfully.
Mark served those whom he accompanied. He looked after the supplying of their daily needs while they preached and taught the people. Thus he also represents the substance idea in the overcomer and is very useful in many ways in ministering to our spiritual faculties in their redeeming work throughout our being. This Mark quality in us inspires us to obey the injunction of the text, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."
Another interpretation of John Mark is that he represents a combination of zeal and love. Mark means shining, and John, according to some authorities means God's gift. God is love, and one of the shining activities of love is its zeal in giving. Paul did not think it wise to take John Mark with them again because he had deserted them before at Pamphylia. Paul discovered that enthusiasm and zeal have their reactions.
Zeal and enthusiasm are absolutely necessary to the success of any enduring work. When we find ourselves growing listless and indifferent, we should begin to affirm and to reach out for zeal, as Paul did in II Timothy 4:11: "Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is useful to me for ministering."