Notes On Mark’s Gospel (140)

“On Your Mark” – Day 141

‘A Job to be Done’ (Chapter 16 Verses 9-20)

The first to see Jesus was a woman too (v9), Mary Magdalene, and not surprisingly the rest did not believe her (vv10-11). Then he appeared to more of them, and still, the rest did not believe them (v12-13). And then (v14) he appears and rebukes some of them for their hardness, their obduracy in not believing. But of course there are many today who suffer from the same hardness, they will not believe at any price whatever evidence is placed before them. It’s not evidence people need, there’s plenty of that, it’s faith they need. Jesus appeared before more than five hundred of his own people (1Corinthians 15.6). Think about it, that is more than a thousand eyes that actually witnessed the resurrected Lord. Now in any court of law, would that not clinch the case, could any judge or jury reject the evidence if you said you had a thousand eyes who actually saw him? There is a story told, a while ago now, of two very clever men, with letters after their names, they decided they would explode the myth of Christianity once and for all. They chose the doctrine of the resurrection, and together they intended to disprove this major tenet of the Christian faith. But both of them found they could not stand before the evidence they found, they were both converted. The power and the wisdom of God (1Corinthians 1.30), was too much for them, well it is too much for any person, is it not? You just humbly bow to the truth.

Mark’s version of the great commission (vv15-16), given to the Church, our mandate that still stands, the imperative to reach out and make disciples of the nations. But notice the details. It is not all the world coming into the Church? It is the Church going out into the world and preaching the gospel. There is a difference. Some Christians feel quite comfortable, like the man by the pool (John 5.1-15) just waiting for someone to come and stir the water, they sit in their Churches waiting on the Lord to magically bring in the lost and convert the ungodly. That is a false view of God’s sovereignty, to say the least. We have work to do (vv15-16)! We have been given the power to do it (Acts 1.8). We made reference in yesterday’s note about the way Christians treat one another, well that is one of the great hindrances to this commission given here. Not just that people are put off, that is bad enough. But it quenches, it grieves the Holy Spirit of God (1Thessalonians 5.19), it puts out his fire, it drives him from the Church. An American preacher once said, “if the Holy Spirit were withdrawn from the Church today, ninety per cent of the Church would go right on as though nothing had happened”. Would we?

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