Utilizing the X and Y theories

by Matthew T. Fretwell

Directions: Read the selected Scripture from the Book of Acts, the Summation and Task below, then in your own words, answer each question in 100 words or less. (Reference: )

Acts 15:36-41

Paul and Barnabas Separate

36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Summation and Task:

Paul and Barnabas were great missionaries and church planters of the early church. The church at Antioch was one of the biggest missionary churches in the Bible. Realizing that Barnabas’ name means “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36), he was an edifying type of person, always seeking the good of those whom he met. He was the one who took accepted Paul as a brother in Christ, when the others would not. Here, we have a scenario where Barnabas’ cousin John-Mark (Mark) had left both the missionaries during their journey in Pamphylia; whether Mark was uncomfortable preaching to the gentiles, anxious about persecution, or only fulfilling God’s will (in that he would write the gospel while away from the men), should be noted, but is not an aspect of this assignment. Think about how Paul and Barnabas reacted according the two theories of X and Y, then answer the questions below.

Which Theory might Paul adhere to more in “this” account (regarding that Mark does eventually become a writer of the Gospel and “profitable to the ministry” 2 Tim. 4:11)?

Would Barnabas also seem to align with one of these theories? Which one, and why?

Which theory aligns itself with the Biblical principles of “the golden rule” (Matt. 22:39)?