Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.…
We are not to suppose that this implied a rejection of Christianity. A soldier who has wavered in one battle may live to win a glorious victory. Mark was afterwards not unwilling to accompany the apostles, and actually did accompany Barnabas again to Cyprus (Acts 15:37-39). Nor did Paul always retain his unfavourable judgment of him (Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11). Yet if we consider all the circumstances of his life, we shall not find it difficult to blame his conduct, and to see good reasons why Paul should distrust his steadiness of character. The child of a religious mother, who had sheltered in her house the Christian disciples, he had been a close spectator of the wonderful power of the religion of Christ, and had been a minister of the apostles in their successful enterprise; and now he forsook them when they were about to proceed through greater difficulties to more glorious success. We are not left in doubt as to the real character of his departure. He was drawn from the work of God by the attraction of an earthly home. "Either he did not like the work, or he wanted to go and see his mother" (M. Henry).
(J. S. Howson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.