Journal Mark 16 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: [continuing the account post-resurrection] “After these things [Jesus] appeared in another form to two of them [the Road to Emmaus Incident] as they were walking into the country.
And they went back and told the rest (of the disciples), but they did not believe them. Afterward [Jesus] appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation…and these signs will accompany those who believe…”” edited from Mark 16:12-17b
Observation: A familiar story, similarly told in some form from Matthew, Luke, and John. Four sets of eyes, four writers, all writing what was remembered and personally important.
Application: I think that this is where just sticking to one recounting of the Post-Resurrection accounts doesn’t do the story justice, but it does give me insight on what was important to the writer.
I shift gears and become a historian, or investigative reporter, and try to roll four accounts into one narrative, before breaking it apart again. “Just the facts, ma’am…” From Mark’s account:
- Somehow Jesus was able to hide in plain sight, like he did on Emmaus Road.
- Loves the disciples but is not above calling them knuckleheads for not believing he was seen.
- Equates unbelief with hardness of heart: This is important for a person like me to understand. My unbelief equals hard-heartedness.
- Beware kicking your feet up and relaxing. Jesus likes to pop in unannounced under those circumstances.
- And the ultimate “if/then” statement: “…these signs follow those who believe…”
Here’s a question I wrestle with: Do I spend more time explaining away scripture or make more effort explaining stuff that is difficult, like Mark 16:17-18.
Am I comfortable in Christ to embrace that profound theological position of “I don’t know; it is a mystery…”, I’ll have to get back to you later on that?
Prayer: Lord, let me wrestle with your Word with diligence and patience. Many times, the scriptures challenge my beliefs with things that are fantastic and difficult to imagine putting into practice. But please don’t let me discount and ignore your words because I am a coward.
Ricky Two Shoes