Pure Mark

There is a phrase that's captured my attention as I've prepared to speak at Large Group tomorrow night:

"He is going ahead of you into Galilee"

That phrase comes out of the end of Mark, from the much-disputed chapter 16. Jesus has been crucified, died and was buried. His followers had been scattered.

Some women came to the tomb to anoint his body. Apparently, in the rush to lay him to rest before the start of the Sabbath, his body had not been appropriately prepared.

What unfolds is pure Mark. This is how Mark tells a story. Light on details. Playing it safe (was that a man or an angel? Don't guess). Rapid pace. And the secret.

Throughout Mark Jesus is telling people to keep quiet. And the keep disobeying him. He heals someone and they run around telling people. He casts out demons and they run around telling people. He rises from the dead and the women who loved him flee the tomb and tell no one. What?

Mark's gospel (at least, in its original form) ends with the phrase "εφοβουντο γαρ," which means (literally) "they feared for" and is translated "for they were afraid."

Mark ends his story and hands it back to us, leaving us full of questions. Did they ever meet Jesus in Galilee? Did the women ever speak up? Did Jesus really rise?

Pure Mark. Beautiful.

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