I’m not sure what your feelings are regarding the longer ending of Mark (and if you have no idea what that means, well … you might be better off). This really isn’t the point of this post, but to give you a very brief understanding, the basic idea is that there are some ancient manuscripts that include additional material in this last chapter of Mark. And to be clear, none of this additional material has any real bearing on the authenticity and reliability of Scripture. It simply means that some of the copies include some additional commentary that some of the scribes decided to include and others did not. Some may have accidentally overlooked it, or some may have thought that it helped close the book with a little more clarity and cohesiveness.
Regardless of your opinion, there is, indeed, truth to be found in these additional verses. (And my point is not to argue for or against additional biblical material anyway). One of my favorites is the verse that follows verse eight in some latin manuscripts and is included as a footnote in many translations (including the ESV and NASB). It says,
“And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.”
I can’t stop thinking about that verse this morning. And there are several points from this verse that stick out to me that we need to remind ourselves of today:
1. Jesus sent sent out the proclamation of the gospel through His disciples. –
The disciples were His mouthpiece. He actually went through them. It was His voice. His hands. His feet. His heart that was going.
2. It’s a sacred proclamation. –
It’s a holy message. A sacred proclamation because it’s the most important message in the world. Christ’s message. His life, death, burial and resurrection. It’s holy. It’s sacred. It is the words of eternal life.
3. It’s an imperishable proclamation. –
It’s imperishable because it’s eternal. It’s never ending. His word endures forever. It cannot be destroyed by any Bible-burning regime, or Christian-killing empire. It will last forever. It’s imperishable.
Remind yourself today of the greatness of this gospel that we live and proclaim. As Jerry Bridges says, “Preach the gospel to yourself everyday.” And this is an amazing verse to help you do that.