May 9, 2018
Mark 16:19-20 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Our passage today follows the resurrection of Jesus and his multiple appearances to some of his followers. After these appearances, there were still some of the eleven original disciples who did not believe the witness of others and their encounters with the risen Lord. Interestingly, for this reason Jesus rebukes his eleven disciples for their lack of faith. Did they believe Jesus would only reveal himself to them? Are they thinking Jesus is not interested in saving others? Perhaps they thought of themselves as more spiritual than others. No matter the reason, their response caused Jesus to rebuke them in order to refocus them on their mission. Isn’t it interesting how off-task we can be as Christ’s followers when we make faith and salvation about ourselves and not for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom?
Following his rebuke, Jesus gives the disciples what we call the Great Commission. “Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world. 16 Anyone who believes me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe me will be condemned. 17 Everyone who believes me will be able to do wonderful things. By using my name they will force out demons, and they will speak new languages. 18 They will handle snakes and will drink poison and not be hurt. They will also heal sick people by placing their hands on them” (Mark 16:15-18).
By using the name of Jesus and calling people to believe, we, too, can walk in the Great Commission for the good news of Christ. In fact, it is not an option. It’s a required mission.
Mark 16:19-20 Jesus Returns to Heaven
19 After the Lord Jesus had said these things to the disciples, he was taken back up to heaven where he sat down at the right side[a] of God. 20 Then the disciples left and preached everywhere. The Lord was with them, and the miracles they worked proved that their message was true.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for refocusing my thoughts on your mission each day. I need you to help me make your kingdom my highest priority. In Jesus’ name. Amen.