Friday, July 6, 2018

2018.07.06 Hopewell @Home ▫ Mark 16:9-20

Questions for Littles: When did Jesus rise from the dead (v9)? To whom did He appear first? Whom did she tell (v10)? What did they do when they heard that she had seen Him (v11)? To whom did He appear after that (v12)? Whom did they tell (v13)? And with what result? What did He do when He appeared to the eleven (v14)? What did He tell them to do (v15)? What happens to the one who believes (16a)? What happens to the one who does not believe (16b)? Which apostles were followed by the signs in v17-18? What happened after He had spoken to them (v19)? What did they do (v20)? When were the signs fulfilled? 
In the Gospel reading this week, we have the appropriately rapid ending to the gospel of Mark. The writer whom the Holy Spirit carried to keep saying “immediately… immediately… immediately” takes us through Mary and the twelve, the road to Emmaus, the doubting disciples, the Great Commission, the ascension, the Session of Christ, and even the spread of the gospel with its accompanying signs. All in 12 verses!

The main point is clear: Jesus really did die and really did rise again, and you had better believe it! In v11, we’re disappointed that they did not believe. In v13, we’re disappointed that, again, they didn’t believe. So in v14, Jesus Himself rebukes them for not believing. Then in v16, He presses upon them how believing in Him is what makes an eternal difference.

Interestingly, in v17 and 18, Jesus establishes the signs not as things that cause faith but that happen alongside faith (parakoloutheo). In other words, the role of these signs is to strengthen faith that comes through the Word. And that’s exactly what v20 says happened.

Ultimately, that’s the most important takeaway for you, as we finish the gospel of Mark together. Do you believe that Jesus is God the Son, who became a man—the promised forever-King? Do you believe that He brought His kingdom of righteousness, and has paid for your entry into it with His own blood, because your sin had to be wiped away? Do you believe that He is sitting at the right hand of God in glory right now, and is soon to return? Your heart’s answer to these questions is the difference between heaven and hell for you!
What do you need to believe? What does your life look like if you do?
Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage?” or TPH459 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”

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