Mark 16:9-20

Later additions

(Inserted in some manuscripts from an ancient source)

[9But all that had been revealed to them they reported briefly to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]

[9After his rising again, early on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared first of all to Mary of Magdala, from whom he had driven out seven demons. 10She went and told the news to those who had been with him and who were now in sorrow and tears; 11yet even they, when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, did not believe it. 12Afterward, altered in appearance, he made himself known to two of them, as they were walking, on their way into the country. 13They also went and told the rest, but they did not believe even them. 14Later on, he made himself known to the Eleven themselves as they were at a meal, and reproached them with their want of faith and their stubbornness, because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen from the dead. 15Then he said to them, “Go into all the world, and proclaim the good news to all creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17Moreover these signs will attend those who believe. In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; 18they will take up snakes in their hands; and, if they drink any poison, it will not hurt them; they will place their hands on sick people and they will recover.” 19So the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God. 20But they set out, and made the proclamation everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the message by the signs which attended it.]

homo constructus is most proud
of the meaning behind its contraptions
there is an intentional lack of mystery

no thing can long be left
without its interpretive core
locating its place in knowing

once placed it is fenced in
now to the next open field
erecting explanatory containers as we go

The beginning continues. This is the shape of Mark—Next….

The urgency of the first part of Mark to reveal changed hearts and behaviors shifts in the second part to an expectation of “beyond” only accessible through consequences lived out in this world.

Anything that attempts to concretize and control the wilderness of indeterminacy, chaos theory, and any spirit that blows where it will to tap the most unlikely undermines Mark’s emphasis upon the human Jesus. What began with Jesus identified as Christ/Messiah/Anointed ends with Jesus identified with no-place located no-where—Nazareth in Galilee. It is this common everyday reference that offers us an insight into a never-ending beginning.

Since we are there now it becomes our wilderness to enter and go deeply enough into that we are freed from all that the spurious additions would have us believe as orthodox (right thinking that would again crucify a bubbling source of seeing beyond current limits).

A non-ending frees us from any “sacred and undying message of eternal salvation”—rising goes where it will.

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” has no standing in a court of Mark which asked no one to be baptized or even to believe, but is abundantly fruitful in lives from Peter to Bartimaeus. Belief and baptism might be responses people would choose to do, but are quite unnecessary to salvation (“healing”, “wholeness”).

We all know demons are not demoted by sincere belief; even snake charmers are bitten, and poison is poison. Healing can occur but as a surprising gift, not as proof of anything.

To be true to Mark and Galilee, Jesus is raised to Galilee—not to heaven. Jesus continues as partners of those taking Mark’s story into themselves, listening behind its surface, and rewriting it into the next experiences they engage in. Hang on! BANG! Onward to rising!

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