Faith vs. Fear
How do we reconcile the continuation of the Gospel of Mark with the early ending of his manuscript? Early manuscripts have the ending of Mark at 16: 8:
“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” (Mark 16: 8 NIV)
Later manuscripts have 16: 9 – 20 including the appearance to Mary Magdalene, the two on the road to Emmaus, and the Eleven hiding in the upper room. Jesus rebukes the Eleven for their lack of faith (I read this as fear) and commissions them to go into all the world.
I have no problem with these additions to later manuscripts because oral tradition was a reasonable way to carry important information and Luke and Matthew carry similar information. Each day I arise early and pray for inspiration to write a daily article to be published as a blog on vmtc.ca Living Fully website. I experience first-hand each day the very ending of Mark:
“After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” (Mark 16: 19, 20 NIV)
There is a choice before us each day of our lives. We can walk by faith or we can tremble in fear. Something truly remarkable has happened in our world. The Son of God was born of the virgin Mary, grew up among us, lived and taught those who were willing to listen, followed His Father’s plan completely and fully, was crucified as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, rose from the dead and appeared to those who would be witnesses to His resurrection, ascended to sit at the right hand of God, and sent the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us to continue what He started among us.
We can believe what happened and continue the work of Jesus. We can live by faith. There are many, many Biblical texts that support what I am saying. Jesus walked among us. Jesus was the full revelation of God. When we experience a love relationship through Jesus with God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit we are walking around daughters and sons of God. We have nothing to fear.