He was the son of Mary, the sister of Barnabas, a woman apparently of some means and influence, and was probably born in Jerusalem, where his mother resided (Acts 12:12). Of his father we know nothing.
He was cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10). It was in his mother's house that Peter found “many gathered together praying” when he was released from prison; and it is probable that it was here that he was converted by Peter, who calls him his “son” (1 Peter 5:13).
It is probable that the “young man” spoken of in Mark 14:51,52 was Mark himself. He is first mentioned in Acts 12:25. He went with Paul and Barnabas on their first journey (about A.D. 47) as their “minister,” but from some cause turned back when they reached Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 12:25; 13:13). Three years afterwards a “sharp contention” arose between Paul and Barnabas (15:36-40), because Paul would not take Mark with him. He, however, was evidently at length reconciled to the apostle, for he was with him in his first imprisonment at Rome (Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24).
At a later period, he was with Peter in Babylon (1 Peter 5:13—then, and for some centuries afterwards, one of the chief seats of Jewish learning, and he was with Timothy in Ephesus when Paul wrote him during his second imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). He then disappears from view.
- The Gospel According to Mark
- John Mark
- Mary, mother of John Mark
- Barnabas, his cousin