Only the Beginning
In June of 1861 when Charles Dickens sent the last chapter of Great Expectations to his publisher neither his friends nor his audience were happy with his ending. So he wrote a happier one creating a strong possibility that Pip and Estella finally did tie the knot and live happily ever after. The debates continue to rage about the various endings to Dicken’s story, and the same is true of the far more important Gospel of Mark.
The earliest copies of the Gospel of Mark end with these words:
We need to remember that the young man dressed in white to the right of the place where Jesus’ body had been placed could not have been clearer. The Jesus of Nazareth that the women had followed from Galilee was alive. The one who had been crucified had been raised and they needed to go and tell his disciples and Peter that Jesus would meet them in Galilee, just like he predicted. The angel’s instructions make it clear that the account about Jesus isn’t over. Leaving us with the image of these faithful women running in silence to the eleven to deliver the instructions given to them in the empty tomb couldn’t make it clearer that Jesus has only begun to impact this world.
Mark told us when he began writing, “The beginning of Jesus Christ’s Good News, the Son of God…” (Mark 1:1), and his short, pregnant ending makes it clear that we’ve only begun the telling of Jesus’ Story.
Monday, in our last Devo on Mark we’ll pick up on the hope that kept Joseph of Arimathea’s hope alive even as he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, and it we’ll see how his expectation will lead us to the book we need to study together next.
LORD, thanks that Mark, your inspired writer, shows us in this short ending that he wasn’t just writing for a popular audience, but his skill makes us hunger to keep on reading more about Jesus and what happens. And Jesus’ impact on our lives is only just beginning.
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