What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus rose again from the dead.
- Jesus offers us the same new life that He has.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- The first people to tell the good news that Jesus was alive were women.
- The call to disciple-making is not a call to men only, despite Jesus only having male disciples in the twelve.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Mark is the tersest of the gospel writers. Matthew has 28 chapters, Luke, 24, John, 21 while Mark has only 16. Really, 15 ½…because most ancient manuscripts do not include verses 9-20. Personally, I think that the last page of Mark was lost and that only verses 1-8 is Marcan. A few thoughts on those verses.
Notice that, for the third time in the last 2 chapters, the two Marys are mentioned. They were at the cross (15.40 along with Salome as well.) And the two Marys also witnessed where Jesus was buried. 15.47. Now they come to care for the body of Jesus. One cannot help but be impressed with their faithfulness and their courage! I want to be known as a faithful one who shows up repeatedly even when others do not.
Salome is of particular interest. Back in Mark 10, you will remember that James and John asked Jesus if they could sit at his right and left hand in power. In Matthew’s version of the story, they had company: their mother! This Salome is that woman! Earlier, she wanted to leverage her son’s influence with Jesus into positions of power for them. NOW, Jesus is dead and all those dreams dead with him. Yet here she is, ministering to him along with the two Marys. I see it as a wonderful act of repentance and humility on the part of Salome. And of course, she is rewarded by being among the first witnesses of the greatest event in the history of humanity.
Mark also was brave to tell the truth about women being the first witnesses. Their testimony was considered unreliable in courts of law. Jesus elevated the role of women through his ministry.
I find Mark’s ending (if it really is the ending) to be the least satisfying…and yet, very honest. They encounter an angel who announces the resurrection of Jesus and calls them to meet in Galilee. Yet, the last verse finds them leaving trembling, bewildered and mute! How many of us know the resurrected Jesus and yet, when the opportunity to speak of him comes, we too are mute. May the Lord loosen our tongues and strengthen our resolve.