Mark 16: 19-20, NRSV & MSG
NRSV: 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.
MSG: 19 Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honor. 20 And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.
Mark 16:19-20 may appear to be an insignificant ending to the Gospel. Perhaps it might merely appear to be no more than a post-script or epilogue — literary devices that writers and artists use to tie up loose ends and tip-off audiences as to what might be an ongoing storyline if there is a sequel. Mark 16:19-20 is short. However, it’s anything but a little add-on. Quite the contrary, it’s a critical window through which we glimpse the unfolding work of Jesus down through the ages — even up to this present moment. So, what is the Lord up to after the original resurrection? From this longer version of the Gospel (earlychurchhistory.org/beliefs-2/long-or-short-ending-in-mark), we learn:
- The first phase of Jesus’ work, the Passion of Christ, has been vindicated through the crucifixion/resurrection (Vss. 16:9-13).
- The second phase of Jesus’ work begins with exaltation before us, restoration to his rightful place before the host of Heaven (Vs. 19), and intercession in Heaven (Hebrews 4:14-15; 7:26; & 8:1-13).
- His work on earth continues through us and is confirmed by him (Vs. 20).
That’s good news! That’s great news! God continues to show his honor, heart, and hand to us, and, through us, to the world. There is nothing insignificant about Mark 16:19-20. It’s an updated glimpse of the good news for people of every age, stage, and nation. I welcome it. Now, however, I must go because the Lord beckons me to get back to it. Today, will you join countless others, some you know and others you do not, in extending God’s invitation to transformation, liberation, and restoration? I hope so!