Instagram Jesus Week 3: Devotional Day 5
DAY 5 – Friday
One of the unusual features of Mark’s Gospel is its abrupt ending in Mark 16:8. Marks 16:9-20 are later additions to the text, and it is highly likely Mark deliberately ended his account of Jesus’ life in this abrupt way. How does this abrupt ending of Mark leave you examining your response to Jesus?
Have you ever seen a movie or read a book where the ending left you with major questions? If you are like me, once you get over an initial bit of frustration that you were not presented with a clear resolution at the end, you begin to flip back through the book or watch the movie again, hunting for clues to help you answer your questions.
Recall on Day 1 of this week we looked at the question at the heart of Mark’s Gospel: Who is Jesus? Here at the conclusion of the book, Mark does not provide us with a clear-cut answer. Instead we are left with women who had heard Jesus teachings, seen him brutally killed on the cross, and now are in a state of confusion as they hear he has risen from the dead. The women seem to still be grappling with the question, who is Jesus? Is he really who he claimed to be? The confusion of the women is not a new reaction. Check out the short (10 min.) video on YouTube entitled “Read Scripture: Mark” created by The Bible Project, which outlines Mark and shows how the conclusion echoes earlier reactions to Jesus.
Why does Mark not provide us with a clear conclusion that answers the question? Why does he leave us with the women, perhaps feeling like they did, in a state of confusion? I think he wants the reader to go back through the Gospel. He wants his readers to personally examine and grapple with the evidence supporting Jesus claim that he was and is the Messiah (Christ). Mark already told us what he believes about Jesus (see Mark 1:1). Now it’s up to you. Based on the narrative presented to you in the Gospel of Mark, who do you say Jesus is?