It is an interesting thing that even today we are dealing with the fact that existent manuscripts of the gospels are different. Not in important or faith-destroying ways, but different nonetheless. Today, we find that the earliest manuscripts of Mark end with women leaving the tomb terrified. No Jesus, no Doubting Thomas, no road to Emmaus. Just three terrified women running from an empty tomb.
But somewhere along the way, someone added, or found, more of the story. Jesus, the Resurrected Jesus, appearing to Mary Magdalene, then to the Eleven and scolding them for not believing Mary Magdalene. Then the Ascension and the disciples’ ministries of signs and wonders. All of this added on to this odd ending Mark’s earliest manuscripts give us. Three terrified women running form an empty tomb.
It is an interesting juxtaposition reading this odd ending in Mark and the first chapters of Joshua. What begins with, “Be strong and courageous as you lead my people into the Promised Land” concludes with three terrified women running from an empty tomb. So which are you today? In the midst of all of your doubts and revelations, your calling and your walk with Jesus, are you “being strong and courageous” or are you running terrified? Are you entering a new task or running from a terrifying revelation of Jesus’ power? Whichever you find yourself in today, know that God is with you. Whether you are attacking a new phase in ministry or life, or fearfully avoiding what God is calling you to, God is with you and will be with you. And it is His “with-ness” that allows us to carry on. So carry on with God.
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