The King's Vindication
Gospel of Mark: Kingdom Invasion
Week #14: The King’s Vindication
any of the great stories have it . . . .Things look hopeless for the hero, when all of a sudden, we witness an amazing triumph and vindication. As observers of these unfolding events, our hearts go from the valley of despair to the mountaintop of rejoicing. Such glorious endings are woven into the fabric of the universe and can be found wherever stories are told.
But before we jump to the vindication of Jesus in this story, we must deal briefly with issues surrounding the text of Mark at this point. Here is a brief summary:
1. The earliest manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20.
2. Most Bible scholars do not believe Mark 16:9-20 was the original ending, but was added later because the Gospel seems to end very abruptly in verse 8.
3. Some believe Mark intended to end his book this way, while others are convinced that we have lost the original ending.
Mark 16:1-8 does contain the empty tomb and the angelic announcement of Jesus’ resurrection. It does not, however, contain the resurrection appearances of Jesus, like the other Gospels. This need not bother us because for Mark, Jesus undoubtedly rose from the dead. We find Jesus’ predictions that he will rise from the dead in this Gospel (see 8:31; 9:9, 31; 10:34) and Jesus is clearly portrayed as a trustworthy prophet and predictor of events. We see the prediction in Mark 16:7 that Jesus will reunite with his disciples in Galilee, and for Mark, there is no doubt that this occurred. Finally, we have Mark taking the time to write this Gospel to a Christian community (probably in Rome) whose very existence was founded on the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. We may never know with certainty the exact ending of the Gospel of Mark, but we can know for sure that this author, like the other Gospel writers, had no doubt about the events involving the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
READ Mark 16
- Do the three women who come to the tomb expect to encounter the resurrected Christ? Explain.
- What evidence does “the young man dressed in a white robe” give for Jesus’ resurrection?
- Why do you think Peter is specifically pointed out in Mark 16:7?
- What comfort can we find for ourselves in knowing that Peter was restored by Jesus?
- What aspects of Mark 16:9-20 can be confirmed in the other Gospel endings (the last chapters of Matthew, Luke, and John)?
- The death and resurrection of Christ are key events in the unfolding message and work of God’s kingdom. How would you explain the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection in light of Mark 10:45?
- In Philippians 3:10, how does Paul want to know Christ and identify with him?
§ What implications do you think this verse has for you today?
- In I Corinthians 15:3-7, how would you summarize what Paul considered to be of “first importance” about the message of Jesus?
- According to I Corinthians 15:12-20, what future hope do believers have that is tied to Jesus’ resurrection?
- A primary emphasis in this Gospel is that the path to glory is marked by servanthood and suffering. What application does this truth have for you today?
The following questions will be posted on-line for comments:
- What stood out to you about Mark 16:1-8?
- What stood out to you about Mark 16:9-20?
- Does the resurrection of Jesus bring meaning to the themes of servanthood and suffering found in Mark’s Gospel? If so, how?
- From our study of the entire Gospel of Mark, do you think “Kingdom Invasion” is an appropriate title? Why or why not?
§ Can you think of any ways this title may be misunderstood?
- What personal application did you get from this lesson?
- Do you have any other comments about this week’s passage and lesson?