Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” … They went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Mark 16:15-16, 20
This is a verse we’ll probably all heard or read several times in our lives. Hopefully we’ve even spent some time praying about how to apply this passage to our lives. Cool. Let’s look a bit beyond the surface and I think we’ll discover something even more powerful.
St. Mark, the author of this passage and Gospel, was not one of the Eleven. He never even met Jesus when he was living on this earth. How in the world could he know these words of Jesus? How could he know what this conversation looked like? This is the powerful part: St. Mark only knows this conversation and these words because the Apostles did what they were supposed to do. They obeyed Jesus and preached the Gospel.
Tradition holds that St. Mark was the spiritual child of St. Peter (check out the end of the First Letter of St. Peter). St. Mark came to know the Gospel through the preaching and teaching of St. Peter. He met Jesus Christ through one of Jesus’ disciples. Had Peter not been obedient to the command of Jesus to proclaim the Gospel, who knows whether Mark would have heard the Gospel proclaimed? Instead, Peter was obedient and did proclaim the Gospel. His obedience to Jesus led to Mark receiving the Gospel. When Mark received the Gospel, he was obedient to the words of Jesus. His obedience led to the whole world receiving the Gospel. What a gift!
Peter introduced Mark to Jesus. Mark introduced the whole world to Jesus.
Who will you introduce to Jesus?