His voice boomed over the crowds in Rome as it had done all around the Roman Empire. The large fisherman was aging but his voice was still filled with intensity and conviction. The thronging crowds listened with curiosity.
Rome was the hub of the civilized world and Peter preached the message of a Jewish rabbi named Jesus from the far away country of Israel. Many in the crowd had believed in Jesus and had become part of this new society called the Church—the Church of which Peter was the acknowledged head. Standing at his side was his fellow-worker and secretary John Mark.
Mark was his Roman name, John his Jewish. He lived in Jerusalem with his mother Mary and associated with the apostles (Acts 12:12). As Barnabas’ cousin, he had been one of Paul’s first missionary companions around ad 45 (Acts 13:5; Co 4:10), but left Paul and for a time and journeyed with Barnabas (Acts 15:37).
Mark later ministered again with Paul (Philem 24; 2 Tim 4:11) around ad 61, this time in Rome, sarcastically named “Babylon”, where he was Peter’s fellow-worker and interpreter (1 Pet 5:13). Peter probably baptized Mark himself since he calls him his son. Peter sent Mark to preach the Gospel in Egypt and today the largest church in Cairo is dedicated to St. Mark who first brought the Gospel.
For the rest of the story on St. Mark, click here.