LOOKING FORWARD

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Mark 16:9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

 

The most reliable manuscripts of Mark (as well other ancient sources) do not include verses 9 through 20, but most Bibles publish these additional verses because their content is clearly consistent with the other gospels and New Testament letters

 

Why does Mark’s gospel end without a clear sense of closure?

 

Perhaps John Mark has simply finished writing.

 

Or perhaps he meant for his biography to dovetail with other written accounts of the resurrected Christ, the birth of the church at Pentecost, and the spread of Christianity across the known world. Certainly, the “rest of the story” can be found in other New Testament accounts.

 

Mark’s gospel has already recorded that Mary Magdalene is among the women who found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. In John’s gospel, Mary leaves the tomb to find Peter and John, who accompany her back to investigate for themselves. John records that Mary is still under the impression that Jesus’ body has been moved and shares her anguish with someone she believes is the cemetery groundskeeper, only to look up and discover she’s actually speaking to Jesus. Matthew, Luke and John all record that there is a great deal of initial skepticism and confusion about Jesus’ resurrection that subsides as more and more people actually see Christ.

 

Whatever the reason, this 12-verse epilogue efficiently sums up the period between Easter Sunday and Jesus’ ascension and sets the stage for the explosive evangelistic movement that would eventually spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

 

Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, thank you for including everything in Scripture that we need to know. Let me dig even deeper into your Word so that your Holy Spirit might transform the deepest places of my heart. Amen.

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