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Overcome Fear with Belief
Tamene Menna, Director of Outreach and Care
Overview: In this final section of Mark, we see that not all who followed Jesus in the beginning were with Him at the end. Not all responded the same way when His identity as a suffering servant and as the messianic Son of God was revealed to all. In 15:40-16:8, Mark shows us a series of three responses to the death of Jesus: first, the women’s response at the cross, then, in the middle story, the response of Joseph of Arimathea, and finally, the women’s response at the tomb. At the empty tomb, the angel commissioned the women to announce the good news of the resurrection to the disciples, but they responded with fear and silence. Mark’s abrupt ending prompts a number of responses: he invites his audience to rest assured in the truth of the resurrection, to overcome fear with belief, and to boldly proclaim the good news of the risen Jesus.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
- Read Mark 15:40. The women were watching the event of the crucifixion from a distance. The disciples of Jesus were absent from the scene. What does distance imply? How do we respond when we face persecution of some form because of our faith?
- Read Mark 15:42-47. Compare the way the disciples respond to the death of Jesus with Joseph’s response. Why is Joseph’s request for the body of Jesus described as a bold act? How does Joseph’s story encourage us to overcome fear and share the gospel with people we think are not open to the gospel?
- Read Mark 16:8. Why do you think Mark ends his gospel so abruptly? What is the purpose of it?
- In Mark 16:6-8, the women were given good news, but they ran away in fear and said nothing? Was there a time in your life when you felt like the women and refrained from sharing the gospel? How does their response present a challenge to you?
For Further Reading: John F. MacArthur Jr. Nothing but the Truth: Defending the Gospel in a Doubting Age (Crossway Books, 1999)