Read Mark 16:9-20
His task completed, Jesus passes the mantle onto the disciples with the command to go into the world to proclaim the good news of salvation to all of creation. Having completed this task, Jesus ascends to heaven to sit at the right hand of God.
The disciples are faithful, as commanded they go out everywhere to proclaim the good news. God also is faithful to his promises, Mark records that the Lord worked with them and confirmed their message by the signs that accompanied it.
For me, coming to the end of day 42 and Mark’s gospel there is an overwhelming temptation to write “THE END”, yet I realise this would be in error. For whilst this may be the conclusion of the Gospel of Mark it surely is not the end of the work of Jesus. Mark’s gospel ends with Jesus commanding eleven men to share the gospel with others. I’ve been in small groups bigger than this – it’s hardly an impressive start to a world changing movement. Yet through the testimony and proclamation of these eleven, the early church grows at a rapid rate.
The church’s growth however does not fall upon the hard work of the disciples alone. Mark is absolutely clear that the proclamation of the gospel was a co-operative partnership between the disciples and Jesus who worked with them confirming their message through the signs he had promised.
Jesus continues to sit at the right hand of God, yet the task he gives us is the same as the task he gave to the eleven and our response is to be the same. We are called to go and proclaim, trusting Jesus to be faithful as we are faithful.
- What stood out for you in today’s story? Do you have any questions?
- Often we can reduce the ‘good news’ to going to heaven when we die. But the book of Mark tells us a lot more about the good news than just eternal life. Thinking through all the stories of Mark from the last 8 and a bit weeks, how would you describe the good news of Jesus?
- Jesus sends the disciples to tell people about the ‘good news’. How would you explain the ‘good news’ to your friends?
- How could you connect with someone (remembering social distancing) outside of your family to encourage or be a friend to this week?