Mark 16:7 jumped out at me today. Jesus said, “Go tell the disciples… AND PETER” (emphasis mine). Tradition tells us that Peter is the Apostle behind the gospel of Mark. It is certain that Peter remembers this part very well. He had denied Jesus and when Jesus rose from the grave he wanted to make sure that Peter knew he was still part of the group.
The last eleven verses of Mark are somewhat controversial as they don’t appear in some of the earlier manuscripts. Controversy aside, there is a great commission like statement found in Mark 16:15. The idea is also found in the other gospels, Acts.
God has made the way to rescue sinners from His wrath through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ who was crucified, buried and risen from the dead. This is indeed good news and the world should hear! Believers are called to be ambassadors of Christ! We are to take the good news everywhere, including to people who may not count the gospel as good news. We are to go!
But where are we to go? If we are not careful we will become mistaken and think we are to go places (indeed that may be part, but it is not the whole), but the command to go and make disciples is not about geography as much as it is about people. People who at this very moment stand outside the kingdom of God. People who may have never even heard the gospel. The command is to go to the people, not the place. Sometimes we have to go places to get to the people, but please make no mistake we go to share the good news with people.
The implications of this are huge! My region has an abundance of churches, and yet there are people who have not clearly heard the gospel. The condition of those who have not heard in my region is the same as those who have not heard in another area or country with less churches. Again the command isn’t to go to places, but to go to people! Darkness is darkness wherever it exists. We can no longer use the fact that there are more people without the gospel in another region of the world as an excuse to just give our money and not search out those who are without Christ on our own neighborhoods. (We should give and give generously to reach people across cultural divides, but not in replace of sharing the good news in our own culture).
Here is how I am praying today:
FATHER, Thank You for the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and that that means for the forgiveness of our sins. I pray for those who have yet to clearly hear the gospel in my community. I pray for the opportunity to speak of your truth and love to them. Thank you for the privilege of leading your people. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.