The Apostle Paul uses the analogy of individuals within the church being likened to different parts of the human body, in his letter to the Corinthian church known as 1st Corinthians in Chapter 12 verses 12 to 31. This concept is of a medical nature so it is not unreasonable to assume the idea behind may have originated with Paul’s companion Luke, who was a physician as well as the writer of two books of the New Testament. So far so good. We do not hear much about Luke himself in Scripture but he must have had a good intellect in order to write his Gospel and the book of Acts. It would be a mistake to dismiss him as a nonentity because his chose not to blow his own trumpet. I suspect that part of Luke’s role was not just to be Paul’s doctor but also as his sparring partner. I suspect that Luke first used this analogy with Paul because Paul expected other believers to be just like him and became frustrated when they did not quite get his arguments. I wonder how many times Luke had to say to Paul “You can’t expect everybody to be just like you.” Then going on to explain how all the different organs of the body are needed for the body to function well. In part, I suspect, Paul when he used the analogy he was preaching to himself, it was a message he needed to learn himself. In verse 21 Paul argues: ‘So the eye cannot say to the hand “I have no need of you!” Nor can the head say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”‘ We assume that when John Mark left prematurely on Paul’s first missionary journey that the fault lay entirely with John Mark. Before Paul set out on his second missionary journey he told Barnabas that he had no need of John Mark. Yet by the end of his life in 2 Timothy chapter 4, he could ask Timothy to ask the same John Mark to come and help him because Paul found him useful. So just maybe some of the reason for John Mark’s return home early lay at Paul’s attitude towards John Mark?
David Rose, 2016.