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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Mark
Theme: The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus; the Ascension of the Lord Jesus.
As we proceed with the Gospel of Mark, we come to the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. The Bodily resurrection of Jesus is one of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. Every sermon in the Book of Acts is a message on the Resurrection . . . every speaker got around to this extremely important subject. The early church dwelt upon it constantly. It is so sad, but in today’s world, there is very little reference to the Resurrection, and in many churches there is just one sermon preached each year on Resurrection Sunday (Easter) with the message of the Resurrection. "He is risen!" That is the thrilling message which electrified a sluggish and sinful generation in the Roman Empire.
In some versions, verses 9 through 20 are omitted. How utterly disgraceful! This section is supposedly a later addition; for the original ending of Mark seems to have been lost. The best and oldest manuscripts of Mark end with chapter 16, end with verse 8. In Mark 16:9-20 (all 12 verses) . . . there is a line separating the last 12 verses of Mark from the main text. Right under the line it says: [The two most reliable early manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20] (NIV, 1978 ed.) The Jehovah's Witness "Bible" also places the last 12 verses of Mark as an appendix of sorts. Look it up! Check it out!
I will give my opinion of what these 12 verses mean to me, like I do with all my Bible commentaries. I believe that these last twelve verses are a part of the inspired Scripture and I shall treat them as any other portion of the Holy Word of God. It is my opinion that the omission of this portion from two of our better manuscripts is not sufficient grounds to remove it from Scripture, especially when all the other manuscripts contain it. The internal evidence is not enough to dismiss it either, since the style is still that of Mark . . . brief and blunt.
Here is an outline of this last chapter of the Gospel of Mark:
#1. The arrival of the women at the empty tomb (verses 1-8).
#2. Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene (verses 9-11)
#3. Jesus Appears to Two in the Country (verses 12-13)
#4. Jesus Appears to the Eleven and Gives the Commission (verses 14-18)
#5. The Ascension of Jesus (verses 19-20)
The Visit of the Women to the Sepulcher (Mark 16:1-8)
(Mat.28:1-8; Lk.24:1-11; Jn.20:1-2)
Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. (KJV)
And when the sabbath was past . . . Matthew says: "In the end of it"(Mat.28:1). Not "when it was the sabbath", as one version reads; for it was not lawful to buy spices, and anoint with on the Sabbath day.
Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome . . . Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome the mother of the other James and John. Matthew says: came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre, they
Had bought sweet spices . . . or "brought" some versions read; for although the women might have bought some on the preparation day, the day before the Sabbath, the same ones as the evening that Christ was buried, (Lk.23:56), yet they might have bought more for the same purpose, after the Sabbath was over.
That they might come and anoint him . . . with those sweet spices, as was the manner of the Jews. This they did out of affection to Christ, but seemingly had no faith in His resurrection, even though He had told them of it, which they had forgotten.
From Luke 24:10, it appears that Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, (Lk.8:3), was also with them. That being the case, these four women, brought sweet spices, to anoint Him. They had prepared a part of them on the evening before the Sabbath (Lk.23:56). John 20:1 mentions only Mary Magdalene. He does this probably because his object was to give a particular account of her interview with the risen Saviour. I do not think that there is any contradiction among the writers. While one writer mentions only the names of only a part of those who were there, he does NOT deny that others were present also.
Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. (KJV)
And very early in the morning, the first day of the week . . . (Mat.28:1).
They came to the sepulchre at the rising of the sun . . . Mark uses two expressions in this verse to indicate the time at which the women came, "very early in the morning," and "at the rising of the sun." As soon as the sun was up, it was very early for them to reach the sepulcher, when we consider the distance they had come, and the business they had stopped at by the way.
It was very early for them to reach the sepulcher, when we consider the distance they had come, and the business they had attended to by the way. Matthew says they came "as it began to dawn;" (Mat.28:1) and John, "while it was yet dark" (Jn,20:1). There is no difference except in the expression, between Matthew, John and Mark, for it is still dark when it begins to dawn, and it is very early in the morning. There is no contradiction.
Mark 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? (KJV)
And they said among themselves . . . either before they started, or as they were going along,
Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre . . . which they had seen was placed there by Joseph, or his orders. The fact that as the women approached the sepulcher they raised the question, "Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher?" reveals that the sealing of the stone and the placing of a guard there were unknown to them. If they had known, they would not have expected that the stone would be removed at all, nor would they have come for the purpose which brought them. It is probable that none of the disciples knew about this until after the resurrection, therefore the fact that they did not try to steal the body is sufficient proof that they had no such purpose as was suspected by the chief priests and the Pharisees. (Mat.27:62-66).
Mark 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. (KJV)
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great . . . just as the women had wondered who would roll the huge stone away, they looked and saw that it was already rolled back, leaving the door open to the grave. Mark adds: "for it was very great." Its huge size is mentioned to account both for their question and for their surprise when they saw that the stone was removed.
Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. (KJV)
And entering into the sepulchre . . . the sepulchers of the Jews were large enough that persons might go into them. There was a rule for making them: If a person sells ground to his neighbor for a burying place, the inside of the cave must have room for eight graves. And there was a door into one of these caves, persons might enter in, and see where the graves were, and the bodies lay.
They saw a young man . . . an angel, for angels used to appear in the form of men. Nor is this any contradiction to John's account, who says there were two angels, one at the head, and another at the feet (Jn.20:12), since Mark does not say there was no more than one; besides. John relates what Mary Magdalene saw when alone, and Mark what all the women saw.
Sitting on the right side . . . from this, Mark tells us on what side of the door of the sepulcher Christ was laid, Clothed long white garment . . . which was as white as snow. (Mat.28:3).
And they were affrighted . . . the women were afraid when they saw him; not expecting such a sight, but instead to have seen the Body of their Lord. Although Mark does not say that this young man was an angel, the account clearly implies that he was. He was the same angel who had rolled the stone away, and who sat on it until the guards fled, when he entered the sepulcher, and there waited for the women to come. (Mat.28:2-5).He was also one of the two mentioned by Luke 24:4. He alone is mentioned by Matthew and Mark because he was the actor and speaker.
Mark 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. (KJV)
And he saith unto them, be not affrighted . . . Matthew says: Fear not ye . . . these good women were scared, for it was very common with gracious persons to be filled with fear at the sight of an angel, such as Zacharias (Lk.1:12), and the shepherds (Lk.2:9).
Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him . . . the knowledge that angels have of saints is considerable, which comes from their frequent care and guardianship of them, the good offices they perform, and their many helps to them.
This was not on the outside of the tomb, for Matthew does not say that the angel appeared to the women then, but only to the keepers. Mark says, "entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment" Mk.16:6). Luke says "They entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And as they were much perplexed thereabout behold, two men stood by them in shining garments" (Lk.24:3-4). When they saw the stone rolled away, and the sepulcher open, the women very nervously went in, to see if the Body was there. It was gone, and there they saw the angels, who gave them information regarding His resurrection.
Infidels (unbelievers) have objected that there are three inconsistencies in the accounts by Mark and Luke:
#1. Mark says the angel was sitting, and Luke says they were standing. Consider: in Luke, it does not necessarily mean that they stood, but only that they were present. Or it could be that the one that Mark mentions was sitting when they entered, and then arose.
#2. Luke mentions two, but Mark and Matthew only one. Consider: Mark mentions the one who spoke; for it cannot be supposed they both spoke the same thing. He does not deny that another was present with him. Luke affirms that there was. This way of speaking is not infrequent. Mark and Luke mention only one demoniac who was cured at Gadara, while Matthew mentions two. Mark and Luke speak of only one blind man who was cured at Jericho, while from Matthew it is certain that two were there. The fact that just one is mentioned, where it is not denied that there were others does not prove that there could not be others.
#3. Matthew calls this an angel; Mark and Luke a man. Consider: Angels, in the Scriptures, when appearing in the form of men, are often called as they appear, and are mentioned as men. Angels, in the form of men: (Gen.18:1-19; Josh.5:13-14; Isa.6:1-2; Eze.9:2; Dan.10:5-6; Mat.28:3-5; Mk.16:5; Lk.24:3-7. Jn.20:12-13) (Mat.28:5-6).
Mark 16:7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. (KJV)
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter . . . Matthew says: And go quickly and tell his disciples . . . for they were mourning and weeping at the death of Christ; despairing of His resurrection, or at least, with little hope, or much thought, even though Christ had often told them of it. News of His being raised would remove their sorrow, revive their faith, and relieve their souls. This was the errand these women were sent to do.
That he goeth before you into Galilee, there shall ye see him . . . Matthew says: That he is risen from the dead . . . nothing else could be more joyful news to them, as it is to all believers, because on His resurrection rests the justification and salvation of God's elect; their security from condemnation, and their hope of resurrection from the dead. This news was first brought to the apostles by women, who were greatly honored by it. And behold he goeth before you into Galilee . . . these are still the words of the angel to the women, telling them what they should say to the apostles, that He would go before them into Galilee; and which would serve to confirm the resurrection to them, and to give the greater credit to the report of the women, since this very thing Christ had promised them before (Mat.26:32).
As he said unto you . . . in Mark 14:28. Mark 14:28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. (KJV)
Peter is not mentioned in the other Gospels in this place, just the disciples. Just Mark mentions Peter here, not as distinct from the other apostles, or as if he was not one of them, since having sinned in the manner he had done; much less because he was the chief of them; but possibly to comfort him in his great sorrow, on account of his fall; and to encourage him to meet Christ along with the rest of His apostles, who might be afraid and ashamed, because he had so sordidly denied Him. This is a kind reference, in favor of Peter. None of the other writer observe it; but this Gospel being published, as is thought by some, under the direction and examination of Peter himself, he was careful to relate everything, that either aggravated his own crime, or illustrated the grace of God, and love of Christ towards him. (Mat.28:7).
In the words, "Tell his disciples and Peter" . . . did the angel recognize Peter's dominance and the honor conferred on him? Or was this to rebuke him for his recent denial of his Lord? We do not know for sure, why Mark mentions Peter.
Mark 16:8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. (KJV)
And they went out quickly . . . out of the sepulcher, where they had been, to see where Christ lay, as invited by the angel (verse 6). When they heard the angel's instructions, they immediately they went out,
And fled from the sepulchre . . . very surprised and afraid.
For they trembled and were amazed . . . at what they saw and heard, but their dread and fear were mixed with joy at the news of Christ's resurrection. Matthew says: there was "fear and great joy" which made them very excited, and gave swiftness to the feet of the women as they ran to tell the news to the apostles. Never before had any message burned within the heart of man or woman. Fear and great joy . . . a mixture of both; with fear and dread, because of what they had seen, and with joy at the news of Christ's resurrection. (Mat.28:8).
Neither said they any thing to any man . . . they did not say anything to anyone until they reached the apostles,
to whom they told all, acting on the angel's orders.
For they were afraid . . . not only fearing what they had seen and heard, but they were afraid to tell any but the apostles of these things, for fear of the Jews; lest they should be thought to have stolen the body of Christ, and so be taken up on that account, and punished. Mary Magdalene ran to Peter (Jn.20:2). This was after the women had seen the angels, who said He was risen from the dead (Lk.24:4). After Mary had not only seen that the stone was rolled away, but had looked into the sepulcher, and saw that the Body of Christ was gone, she ran as fast as she could to Peter. She must have known where he was. Running not unusual for women, or unbecoming to them on certain occasions (Gen.24:20,28; 29:12).
Mark expresses more vigorously than Matthew does, the great excitement of the women. They "fled from the sepulcher," they "trembled and were amazed," "neither said they anything to any man." If they had been less frightened, they might have cried out to every man they met, "The Lord is risen." As it was, people saw in them as they passed, only as a group of frightened women running on some unknown errand.
For a comment on the Resurrection, see the end of this chapter.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11)
Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. (KJV)
Now when [Jesus] was risen early the first day of the week . . . although the word "Jesus" is not in the text, it is rightly supplied, because the rising of NO other One, can the words be applied. That Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, agrees with the accounts of all the other Gospel writers evangelists, and is here expressly affirmed; the phrase, "the first day of the week" is so placed, as that it may be thought to connected with the following words; as it is by some; thinking there would otherwise be a disagreement with (Mat.28:1), whereas there is none, for it is true also, that He did appear on that day to Mary Magdalene, it being the same day He rose from the dead. First day of the week: (Mat.28:1; Mk.16:9; Lk.24:1; Jn.20:1,9). The true reading is as here placed; and points out the day of Christ's rising from the dead. That He rose early on that day, is clear from the women, who set out at the end of the Sabbath, when that was past; and arrived at the sepulcher by the time the day dawned; and one of them, while it was dark, and all of them by break of day, at least by presuming, that He was then risen.
He appeared first to Mary Magdalene . . . dressed as a gardener, for whom she took Him at first; and this was at the sepulcher, where she stayed after the apostles were gone. That she was the very first person that Christ showed Himself to, after His resurrection, may be concluded from what John has said. John 20:13-14 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. (KJV)
There is no reason whatsoever, to think, that before this, He appeared to His mother, of which NONE of the Gospel writers ay anything of the sort. This was a very great favor, and a very high honor that was bestowed upon Mary Magdalene; and who had received large favors from Him before. Mary Magdalene: Mat.27:56,71; 28:1; Mk.15:40-41,47; 16:1,9; Lk.8:2; 24:10; Jn.20:1,11,18)
Out of whom he had cast seven devils . . . (Lk.8:2). IF she had been a very wicked person, as she is often thought to be, and very likely she once had been, since Satan had such a tremendous power over her, as to lodge seven devils in her . . . it is a wonderful instance of abounding grace, that Christ should heap up favors on such an one; and she should be the first that He would appear to and speak with after His Resurrection.
Since Mary Magdalene came to the sepulcher in company with the other women (verse 1), the statement that Jesus appeared first to her implies that she had been separated from the others; otherwise He would have appeared to all of them at once. But He appeared to the other women as they were going to tell the apostles (Mat.28:9-10), therefore, common sense tells us that Mary's separation from the other women and the appearance of Jesus to her must both have taken place between the time that they all came to the sepulcher together and the time that He appeared to the other women. This much is implied in the accounts of Matthew and Mark, and the details are furnished by John. He, mentioning Mary alone because she alone brought the news to Peter, says: John 20:1-2 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. (KJV)
These words contain double proof that she left the company of the other women, just as soon as they discovered that the sepulcher was open; #1. It is said "she seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher. Then she runneth," and #2. IF she had stayed with the other women till the angel spoke to them, her report to Peter and John would not have been, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him;" . . . she would have reported the statement of the angel, that He had risen from the dead. It seemed clear to her that the Body of Jesus had been taken away, because she could see no other reason for rolling away the great stone. Peter and John, who were evidently separated from the main body of the apostles, when they heard the startling news, ran with all their might to the sepulcher, followed by Mary. On seeing and believing what Mary had told them, they left, leaving her still at the tomb, where Jesus appeared to her first (Jn.20:3-18). When Jesus disappeared from Mary, He then appeared, the next moment, to the other women, who, by this time, had examined the sepulcher, spoke with the angel, and gone some distance in the direction of the other apostles.
The action around the sepulcher that morning moved quickly, in the highest degree, and they followed each other in rapid succession.
Mark 16:10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. (KJV)
And she went and told them that had been with him . . . when Mary Magdalene went and told the apostles what she had heard and seen; those who had been with Him from the beginning, and had heard His doctrines, and seen His miracles, and had had fellowship with Him, and truly believed in Him, and were His constant companions and followers, and true disciples; not only Peter, James, and John, who were with Him, particularly at the raising of Jairus's daughter, and at His transfiguration on the mount, and when in His sorrows, in the garden; but all of the eleven, and not only them, but it seems there were other disciples that were with them (Lk.24:9).
As they mourned and wept . . . being heartbroken over the death of their Lord, and the loss of His Presence; and also for their way of feeling towards Judas, that one among them that betrayed Him, another who denied Him, and that all had forsaken Him . . . they were like doves of the valley (Eze.7:16), mourning for their absent Lord, and for their own iniquities. It was in this condition they were, when Mary brought them the joyful news of Christ's Resurrection from the dead.
Mark 16:11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. (KJV)
And they, when they had heard that he was alive . . . when the apostles heard the report of Mary Magdalene, that Christ was raised from the dead, and was alive; or of all the women, for not only Mary Magdalene, but Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women; for these all related this to the apostles, and the rest who were there. (Lk.24:9-10).
And had been seen of her . . . of Mary Magdalene, or "of them" as some versions read.
They believed not . . . the words of Mary and the other women, for it all seemed as idle tales to them (Lk.24:11). Possibly they thought that the news was just too good to be true, all of them forgetting the words of their Lord, that He would rise again the third day, and which had been so often repeated to them. All of this was through stupidity of mind, brought about by the trouble and shock they were in.
Jesus Appears to Two in the Country (Mark 16:12-13)
Mark 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. (KJV)
After that . . . some time later, maybe the same day (Lk.24:12-14).
He appeared in another form . . . it seems to have been the form, or habit of a gardener, in which He appeared in to Mary; but now it was in another form, that He appeared; very likely in the habit of a Scribe, or doctor; since He took upon Himself to expound the Scriptures to the persons He appeared to; as also took bread, and blessed it, when at supper with them, (Lk.24:27,30).
This is not to be understood of any change in the shape of His Body, or the features of His Face; because as soon as their eyes were opened, which had been before holden, they knew Him right away. IF there had been any alteration made in Him, that He could not have been known for the same, there would have been no need of holding their eyes, that they should not know Him, (Lk.24:16,31). This appearance was
Unto two of them . . . one of them was Cleophas (Lk.24:18), or Alphaeus, which is the same. Some think the other was Nathanael, and others Luke the evangelist, who conceals his own name.
As they walked, and went into the country . . . to a country village called Emmaus, about sixty furlongs, or seven miles and a half from Jerusalem. (Lk.24:13).
While Mark here says that Jesus "appeared in another form" to these two disciples, Luke accounts for their not recognizing Him by the fact that "their eyes were holden that they should not know him." (Lk.24:16). The statements are not inconsistent; they only show, when comparing, that Jesus appeared in another form by holding in some way, their eyes, so that He would appear to be a different person. Mark's account implies that they eventually recognized Him, without stating how.
Mark 16:13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. (KJV)
And they went and told it unto the residue . . . upon their return to Jerusalem, which was on the same night, they went to the eleven apostles, and the other disciples that were with them, and told the whole affair to them; how that Jesus had joined them by the way, and spoken much with them about Himself, and expounded the Scriptures on the road; and when they came to the end of their journey, He sat down at meat with them, and how He was very plainly known to them in breaking of bread. (Lk.24:35).
Neither believed they them . . . even though they were fellow disciples; and this was a repeated testimony, and a second set of witnesses of Christ's resurrection to them; they did not believe.
Jesus Gives the Commission (Mark 16:14-18)
(Mat.28:16-20; Lk.24:36-49; Jn.20:19-23)
Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. (KJV)
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven . . . apostles, this was now the number of them, since Judas was gone from them, and dead (Mat.27:3-10; Acts 1:18). These were called “the eleven” although Thomas was not with them at this time, because their whole company consisted of this number. This appearance of Christ to them was on the same first day of the week, at evening, (Jn.20:19), although it must be very late at night; for it was after the two above disciples were returned from Emmaus, where Christ and they had supped together; (Lk.24:29-30, 33,36),
As they sat at meat . . . or "sat together" being assembled together, and the doors shut fast for fear of the Jews, (Jn.20:19), "while they were gathered together". This most likely is the appearance mentioned (Lk.24:36; Jn.20:19).
And upbraided them with their unbelief, and hardness of heart . . . rebuked them, reproached them. This was done because, after all the evidence they had had of His Resurrection, they still did not believe. This is a most important incident in the history of our Lord's Resurrection. Never were men more difficult to be convinced of anything, than they were of that fact. They were not convinced, until it was impossible for them any longer to deny it. Had they expected it, they would have caught easily at the slightest evidence, and even turned every circumstance in favor of such an event. It may be added, that it was impossible that eleven men of good natural understanding would have been deceived in such a clear case. They had been with Jesus three years; they knew His features, His voice, His manner. It was impossible that they should have been deceived by anyone who might have pretended to have been the Lord Jesus.
Their hearts were much affected, and they were filled with sorrow and trouble for the loss of Christ; but in this point, their unbelief increased by their fears, and so much prevailed, that all that were said by one, and another, made NO impression on them. A great aggravation of their disbelief, and a reason of Christ's upbraiding them in this manner were,
Because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen . . . as Mary Magdalene, and the other women, and Cleophas, and the other disciple that was with him, who were eyewitnesses that He was risen from the dead; and these were such as should have been depended on.
What happened in the silence between verse 14 from the interview on the evening after the day of the Resurrection, and that which occurred on the day of the Ascension (verse 19), forty days later (Acts 1:13). From Mark's story alone, we would not be able to know what took place. But this is only one of many occurrences in which details are omitted from one Gospel story, but found in another. The following Scriptures tell us what happened between Mark 16:14-19.
Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV)
Luke 24:36-51 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. (KJV)
John 20:19-31 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)
The above Scriptures fill in what Mark leaves out.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (KJV)
And he said unto them . . . not at the same time and place, as before; not on the first day of the week, on which He rose from the dead, but forty days later, just before His ascension into Heaven. This was not at Jerusalem, but in Galilee, where He appointed to meet His apostles, and did meet them, and when He gave them the following commission. (Mat.28:16-19).
Go ye into all the world . . . not only into Judea, and through all the cities of it, where they had been before confined; not only into the Roman empire, which is sometimes so called “the world” because a great part of the world was under that government, but into every known and livable part of the whole Universe, to ALL the nations of the world under Heaven. This command is not ordered on every apostle separately, that each of them was to go into all the world, and travel over every part; but instead that one was to go one way, and another, another way. Everyone had his part of the world marked out for him, where he was to fulfil and finish his ministry. This commission not only included the apostles, but reaches to all the ministers of the Gospel in succeeding ages, to the end of the world. And when one part of the world, which was not known, was discovered; this order includes that, as well as the then known parts of the world.
And preach the Gospel to every creature . . . not to lifeless and irrational creatures, such as stones and beasts of the field . . . but to men, the offspring of fallen Adam, the objects of God's good will! These are "the creatures" that the Lord Jesus meant, because they are the foremost of God's Creation on Earth; and are often in the Jewish writings so called, and in this sense is the phrase used. (Rom.8:22-23; Col.1:23; 2 Pet.3:4).
It is to these, that Christ Jesus would have the Gospel preached, as well as to the Jews; to ALL without any distinction of people, Jews and Gentiles, bond and free, male and female, rich and poor, greater or lesser sinners, to ALL mankind everywhere. This was very provoking to the Jews, who would, if they could, have revoked and made null and void this commission of Christ. It was the Gospel that He would have preached to them, the word of peace and reconciliation, by His atoning Sacrifice; the doctrine of free and full pardon by His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19); and of justification by His righteousness (Rom.2:22-28; 5:1); and of complete salvation by Him (Jn.3:15-16; 14:6): and every doctrine relating to His Person, as God and Man; to every office of His, as Prophet, Priest and King; to His incarnation (Jn.1:14), sufferings, and death, His resurrection, ascension, sitting at the right Hand of God, and interceding for His people (1 Jn.2:1), and Second Coming to judgment (Zec.1-5; Rev.19:11-21); with every doctrine relating to the grace of God (Rom.3:22-26; Eph.2:8-9).
Go ye . . . this begins the Apostolic Commission, given by Jesus on the day of His Ascension. It had already been given, as recorded by Matthew, on the mountain in Galilee (Mat.28:16-20), and now Mark repeats it in a little different form. It is correctly called a commission, because it was something that the apostles had not received before, the authority to preach the Gospel, and to proclaim the conditions of salvation. Previously they had been forbidden even to tell any man that Jesus was the Christ. (Mat.16:20; 17:9). Now He unsealed their lips, with only one limitation . . . that they are to tarry in Jerusalem until they are "endued with power from on high." (Lk.24:47-49; Acts 1:7-8). After that, they are to "go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (KJV)
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved . . .believes the Gospel, and believing it to be true, and acts as if it were true. This is really what faith is all about. Man is a sinner, and he should act on the belief of this truth, and repent. There is a God. Man must believe this, and man must fear (reverence, respect) and love Him, and seek His loving-kindness. The Lord Jesus died to save sinners. We must have faith in Jesus, and believe that this is true, and to trust Him, rely on Him and love Him. We must feel that we have absolutely NO merit in our self. We must cast our all on Him. There is a Heaven and a Hell. We must believe this, and we must act as if it were true . . . seeking the one, and avoiding the other. We ALL shall die one day, unless the Lord Jesus comes in the clouds to remove the church before the Tribulation, and we are still alive (1 Thes.4:13-18). To believe this, is to act as if this were so, and to be ready for it, to expect it could happen at any time. My friend, faith is feeling and acting as if there were a God, a Saviour, a Heaven, a Hell; knowing that we are sinners, and that we deserve eternal death, and are in danger of it without Jesus. We must cast our eternal interests on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. This means to be a born again Christian (Jn.3:3-8). Not to do it, is to be an infidel.
Is baptized . . . does this Scripture teach that baptism is necessary for salvation? NO, it does not, nor does any other Scripture teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. The false doctrine that teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation is known as "baptismal regeneration." I believe that baptism is a very important step of obedience for a Christian, but I do NOT believe that baptism is required for salvation. See: http://www.judgmentcoming.org/f_falsehoods_baptismal_regeneration.1.htm
I believe that baptism is done in obedience to the Lord Jesus. I believe that a Christian should be water baptized by immersion, if possible. Baptism illustrates a believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Rom.6:3-4). I think that being immersed in water illustrates dying and being buried with Christ; coming up out of the water pictures Christ’s Resurrection.
IF baptism were necessary for salvation, it would requires something in addition to faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, and that would be a FALSE works-based salvation. The Bible clearly tells us that salvation is FREE Gift! (Rom.5:18; 6:23; Eph.2:8-9). IF we add anything to the Gospel, we are saying that Jesus' death on the cross was NOT sufficient to purchase our salvation. To say that baptism is necessary for salvation is to say that we must add our own good works and obedience in addition to Christ's death in order to make it sufficient for salvation. Jesus' death alone paid for our sins! 1 Cor. 15:14-17 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (KJV)
In Bible times, a person who converted from one religion to another was often baptized to prove His conversion. Baptism was the means of making a decision public. Anyone who refused to be baptized were saying they did not truly believe. So, in the minds of the apostles and early disciples, the idea of an un-baptized believer was unheard of. When a person claimed to believe in Christ, yet was ashamed to proclaim his faith in public, it indicated that he did NOT have true faith.
See end of chapter for more on baptism.
But he that believeth not shall be damned . . . those who are mainly meant here, are those who were favored with the Gospel revelation; but either deny it, reject, despise it, neglect it and/or are disobedient to it. These are those people whose guilt is greater, and whose punishment and damnation will NOT be tolerated, and even be worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrha, Tyre and Sidon. Anyone who receives knowledge of the Gospel, and who stubbornly remain unbelievers, who live and die in a state of impenitence and unbelief . . . shall be damned! But on the other hand, one that does not believe today, hears the Gospel, may believe tomorrow, and be saved.
Shall be saved . . .saved from sin (Mat.1:21), and from eternal death Jn.3:18,36; 8:24), and raised to eternal life in Heaven (Jn.5:28-29; 17:2,24).
Shall be damned . . . condemned by God, and cast away from His Presence (2 Thes.1:7-9). It implies that they will be sentenced to be guilty by God on Judgment Day (Rom.2:12,16; Mat. 25:41,46), that they will deserve to die for ever (Rom.2:6,8) and that they will be cast out into a Lake of Fire for all eternity (Rev.20:15). How can a loving God be just in condemning people for ever for not believing the Gospel.
#1. God has a perfect right to assign His own terms of mercy OR wrath.
#2. Man has NO claim or demand whatsoever on Him for Heaven.
#3. The sinner rejects the terms of salvation knowingly, deliberately, and perseveringly, of his own free will.
#4. God has a special and right disregard and contempt for those who reject the Gospel.
#5. Man’s sin is brought about by his love for self and sin.
#6. Man’s unbelief is produced by the love of sin.
#7. Man shows his love of sin by his hate for God, his hate for His law, and no thought whatsoever for eternity.
#8. Man ridicules and scorns the objects and people dearest to God, and are most like Him.
#9. Man’s sin and disobedience make him most miserable, for he has no confidence in God, does not believe that God is true or worthy of His regard, and he never seeks His favor. A person like this has to be MOST unhappy. He rejects God, and he shall go into eternity without a loving Father and without a God. There is absolutely NO source of comfort in himself, for he shall die for ever. There is NO one in eternity except God, that can make man happy . . . and without God’s love, favor, grace and mercy, the sinner has to be a miserable wretch.
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (KJV)
And these signs shall follow them that believe . . . NOT all of them, but some; and NOT always, but only for a period of time. At this time, when Mark wrote this, these signs, or miracles were evidence that the apostles are sent from God, and were necessary to confirm the Gospel, and to establish Christianity in the world.
In my name shall they cast out devils . . . as the Apostle Paul dispossessed the damsel, that had a spirit of divination; commanding the spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of her, and it did; and evil spirits also went out of others, through his means, by the power of Christ,
Acts 16:18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (KJV) . . . This power continued for a significant time among the saints. For it was in His Name, that such miraculous procedures were done by the apostles . . . In the Name of Jesus: (Acts 2:38; 3:36; 4:18; 5:40; 8:16; 9:29; 16:18; 1 Cor.1:2; 5:4; 6:11; Eph.5:20; Phil.2:10; Col.3:17; 2 Thes.1:12; 3:6)
They shall speak with new tongues . . . or languages, NOT that were new and had never been heard and known before; but instead foreign languages, such as they had never learned, or were able to speak, or understood before. This not only did the apostles do on the day of Pentecost, but at other times. (Acts 2:4,6,11; 10:45-46; 1 Cor.12:10,28,30; 14:26).
I do not believe in tongues for today. I know many will disagree with me on this, but I truly believe this! These who jibber-jabber where it is doing NOTHING to edify or uplift the congregation are in NO way whatsoever glorifying God in my opinion. See: http://www.judgmentcoming.org/f_falsehoods_charismatic_tongues.1.htm
Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (KJV)
They shall take up serpents . . . if and when it was necessary for the sake of establishing the church, they would be able to keep the apostles safe from poisonous reptiles without injury, clearly showing that God was with them, to keep them from harm. This was literally fulfilled when Paul shook the viper from his hand. (Acts 28:5-6). This “sign” was to keep the apostles from danger. This does
NOT mean that Christians should tempt God by handling snakes. That is utterly ridiculous, and it is tempting the Lord! Thou shall not tempt the Lord: (Deut.6:16; Mat.4:7; Lk.4:12)
Strange, this morning on the news (2-17-14), a preacher in Kentucky died an hour after he was bitten while dancing around with a poisonous snake on his bald head. THAT is NOT what this verse is speaking about . . . what he did was TEMPTING the Lord!
And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them . . . this is absolutely NOT saying that they were justified to drink poison, to show what power they had!Absolutely NOT! But, if they should they accidentally drink it, or rather if they should be forced to it by their enemies in order to destroy them, they would not be hurt by it.
And they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover . . . as the Apostle Paul did on the father of Publius, who was thereby healed of a fever, and a bloody flux, and also others, (Acts 28:8-9), and some were healed just by the shadow of Peter, (Acts 5:15-16), and others, by handkerchiefs and aprons taken from the body of Paul (Acts 19:12).
I think that the meaning of this Passage is, that Jesus would preserve them from the power of Satan and all his demons, and from all wicked and crafty men. The apostles could control Satan and his many helpers, their God-given signs would be present to guard from all their conspiracies, see all their evil plans, and destroy all their devious schemes, for they would be clothed with no less than the almighty power of God.
I do NOT think this Passage means that Jesus’ apostles were expected to handle deadly snakes and drink poison to prove to unbelievers that they are Christians. NO way! That would be tempting the Lord, and we are told NOT to do that! I honestly think the way to understand this Passage is to be reassured that when the apostles accidentally come in contact with poisonous snakes, God will miraculously protect them.
In looking at the history of the New Testament Church, the Bible records only the latter explanation . . . that if a true Christian accidentally picks up a poisonous snake and is even bitten by that snake, God can intervene to miraculously spare that persons life., and this DID happen to the apostle Paul. After being shipwrecked and escaping to the island of Malta, Paul was bitten by a deadly snake. The natives thought he would die, but God miraculously stepped in and intervened and Paul was NOT harmed. Acts 28:1-6 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. (KJV)
The Bible tells us that we should NOT tempt God by deliberately placing ourselves in potential danger. Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (KJV) . . . Based on these Scriptures, we can rest assured that God does NOT want us to handle poisonous snakes today to prove we are Christians. We can also rest assured that God continues to perform miracles in healing and protecting those who trust and believe in Him.
I think that the promise is, NOT that these signs would follow for any indicated time. They did follow the believers during the apostolic age, which was a complete fulfillment of what was promised by Jesus. Signs were intended to convince the unbelievers, and they were always done openly in the presence of the unbelievers. The apostle Paul believed that prophesying, speaking in tongues, and miraculous knowledge, would vanish away. 1 Cor. 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (KJV) . . . And I believe this to be true. I believe that the signs, these miraculous gifts DID vanish away with the death of the apostles and of those to whom they had imparted. 1 Cor. 14:22-24 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: (KJV)
My thoughts on Mark 1:17-18.
Jesus described the certain miracles that would accompany the apostles who brought the Gospel. Question: Do these “signs” exist today? I have always believed that these “signs” ceased when the New Testament was completed. I know that many do not agree with me, which is their right. Most of these signs are found in the Book of Acts:
#1. Cast out demons (Acts 8:7; 16:18; 19:11-16).
#2. New tongues (Acts 2:4-11; 10:46; 19:6)
#3. Handle serpents (Acts 28:5)
#4. Drink poison without harmful effects . . . NOT recorded in Acts, but attributed to John and Barnabas by the church historian Euesbius.
#5. Lay hands on the sick for healing (Acts 3:7;19:11; 28:8-9)
WHAT was the purpose of these miracles? I think the answer is in the following: Hebrews 2:3-4 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (KJV)
Before the New Testament was completed, men would have to ask the apostles or others for proof to show that the Gospel was true. To confirm their preaching, God would bear witness, through them, with the various sign gifts above. BUT . . . we have NO need for these sign gifts today! We have the complete Bible available to us. Anyone who will not believe God’s Word . . . would NOT believe miracles either. (Lk.16:31).
The Ascension of Jesus (Mark 16:19-20)
(Lk.24:50-53; Acts 1:9-12)
Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (KJV)
So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them . . . to the apostles, the above words, which commissioned them where to go, what to do, and what to say; and what should follow them, for the authorization of their mission and doctrine.
He was received up into heaven . . . in a cloud, angels attending Him, and with a welcome into His Father's Presence. Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (KJV)
And sat on the right hand of God . . . some versions add: "his own Father", and which is evidence of his completing His Work, to full satisfaction of His Father; and is an honor NEVER conferred on angels, or any mere creature; and is an awesome dignity conferred only on the human nature of Christ, in union with His divine Person. It shall be there, in Heaven, at His Father’s right Hand, that He shall remain, until His Second Coming (Zec.14:1-5; Rev.19:11-21).
The statement that "after the Lord had spoken to them he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God," establishes a close connection in time between the close of the speech and the Ascension of Jesus. The same connection is indicated by Luke both in his Gospel and in Acts, where, although he does not quote any of the words reported by Mark, he reports a conversation quite similar to it which occurred on the same occasion and was immediately followed by the ascension.
Luke 24:49-51 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. (KJV)
Acts 1:4-9 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (KJV)
Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (KJV)
And they went forth, and preached every where . . . after Jesus’ Ascension onto Heaven, the apostles went forth, from Galilee to Jerusalem; and on the day of Pentecost, they appeared publicly, and preached the Gospel in divers (many different) languages; and after the death of Stephen when the persecution arose, they left Jerusalem.
The Lord working with them . . . their ministry was very useful for the conviction and conversion of large multitudes, and for forming an abundance of Gospel churches, and for the comfort and edification of the saints. All which was done, by the power and grace of Christ, without whom they could do nothing. (1 Cor.3:9-11). The Lord was with them: (Acts 5:12; 11:21; 14:3; Heb.2:4).
And confirming the word with signs following . . . NOT by their own meager power, but with the Lord working with them (Heb.2:4). And to all that has been said, Mark puts his . . .
Amen . . . so let it be, or so it shall be, or may it be so. Some say that Amen was not added by Mark.
Mark is more brief and concise than any other of the Gospel writers. In most cases he agrees with Matthew, although he has added some conditions which Matthew had omitted. There is no evidence, however, that he copied from Matthew. The last chapter in Mark contains some things omitted in Matthew, and some things of great importance. We learn from it that the Gospel is to be preached to ALL mankind. Every person is to be offered eternal life; and should he reject it, it shall be at his peril. The condition of the man who will NOT believe is extremely awful. The Son of God has solemnly declared that he shall be damned (Mk.16:16). Christ Jesus will judge the world; and there is NO one that can deliver out of His Hand, no matter how rich or powerful! NO excuse whatsoever, will be allowed for not believing. Unless a man has faith, he shall be lost for ever. This is the sincere and solemn declaration of the entire Bible, and in view of this, the awful declaration of the merciful Redeemer . . . how utterly miserable is the condition of anyone who has no confidence or trust in Jesus, and who has never looked to Him for eternal life! My friend, it is extremely important that you should, without delay, make peace with God, and possess that faith which connects us with eternal life!
THOSE THREE DARK HOURS
When Jesus hung on that cross, without ev’n one friend,
Those three hours of darkness, I cannot comprehend!
‘Twas a private time, between the Father and Son,
When my sin debt was paid, and Christ’s battle was won!
There is NO way, I can comprehend Jesus’ love,
Coming to Earth to die, leaving Heaven above!
He left the comfort of Heav’n’s safety, to endure great agony,
For the likes of a nobody, like sinful me!
NO earthly mortal, this kind of love could possess,
We are filled way too much, with worldly wickedness.
We are blessed indeed, to access this kind of love,
In this evil, immoral world, of push and shove!
In those three hours of darkness, Christ took on my sins,
The devil was jubilant, he thought he would win!
But it was Christ Jesus, who had the victory,
In those three hours of darkness; that Godly mystery!
Jesus paid my full sin debt, in those dark three hours,
Ne’er did He doubt, fear, hesitate, waver or cower!
He tolerated all, that agony and pain,
Ne’er did He protest, object, grumble or complain.
The suffering that He endured, for you and for me,
Was love indescribable, that set our souls free!
Jesus’ love surpasses all, that we could ever know,
We’re privileged indeed, that on us His love does flow!
Have you e’er considered, those three hours of darkness?
When our precious Saviour, brought us such great success?
Have you thanked Him, for providing the only Way,
That we might access, Heav’n’s glorious beauty one day?
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Oct.5, 2014 #1359
All forsook Him: (Mat.26:31,54-56; Mk.14:27,50-52; Jn.16:32; 18:8-9; 2 Tim.4:16; Ps.38:11) Darkness: (Mat.27:45; Mk.15:25,33-34; Lk.23:44-45) Love of Christ. (Mk.10:21; Jn.10:11; 11:3; 13:1,34; 14:6,21; 15:9,13; 19:26; 20:2; Rom.5:7; 8:35-38; 2 Cor. 5:14; Gal.2:20; Eph.3:19; 5:2,25; 1 Tim.1:14; 1 Jn.3:16) Battle between Christ and Satan: Gen.3:15; The devil’s seed: (Mat.3:7, 12:34; 23:33; Jn.8:44; Acts 13:10; 1 Jn.3:8,10). Her seed: Ps.132:11; Isa.7:14; Jer.31:22; Mic.5:3; Mat.1:23,25; Lk.1:32-35,76; Gal.4:4). Gift Of God: (Mat.7:11; Jn.4:10; 6:32; Acts 8:20; 15:11; Rom.5:15,18; 6:23; 8:32; 11:29; 1 Cor.7:7; 2 Cor.9:15; Eph.2:8; 2 Tim.1:6; 1 Jn.4:9; 5:11)
That this general darkness was totally supernatural is evident that it happened at the Passover, which was celebrated ONLY at the full moon, a time in which it was impossible for the sun to be eclipsed, natural eclipses happening only at the time of the new moon.
Comment on the Resurrection:
This closing section of Mark, like the corresponding section in Matthew, contains two proofs of the divinity of Jesus. The first is found in the darkness that covered the earth during three hours of his suffering. It is common, when we would make a comparison to indicate the impossibility of an undertaking, to say that you may as well attempt to blot the sun from the heavens. But this is exactly what God did! When the noonday sun was shining on the dying Jesus and His agonies, God created a supernatural eclipse, for the moon was on the opposite side of the globe (the moon was always full at the Passover); but it was done by the simple command of Almighty God! Nothing short of the power of God could have accomplished this Fact! When the Lord and Saviour was dying, the mighty stroke of God’s Hand shut out the sun. Was Jesus an impostor? OR, was He, what He claimed to be, the Son of God? Can you imagine that for three hours, there was an appalling blackness, in mid-day? I think that possibly the Roman centurion could answer the question.
The crowning proof in the grand series which Mark has presented, is the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Absolutely NO power but that of God alone could have raised Him from the dead, and that power of God would NEVER have been wielded had Jesus been a deceiver or petender. That Jesus WAS raised from the dead is proof that demonstrates that He was all that He claimed to be . . . the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
We thank God that Mark’s Gospel has lived and come down to us; and as we pass it on to generations which shall come after us, we think of all the blessings it will give to millions who are yet unborn.
Comment on baptism:
As with any single verse or passage, we discern what it teaches through careful consideration of the language and context of the verse. We also should check it out with what the Bible teaches elsewhere on the subject. In the case of baptism and salvation, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, NOT by works of any kind, including baptism (Eph.2:8-9). So, we must come to the conclusion that baptism, OR any other act or work on our part, is absolutely NOT necessary for salvation. http://www.judgmentcoming.org/f_falsehoods_baptismal_regeneration.1.htm
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (KJV) . . . This verse is made up of two basic statements: #1. He who believes and is baptized will be saved. #2. He who does not believe will be condemned. Quite simple!
While this verse tells us something about believers who have been baptized (they are saved), it does not say anything about believers who have not been baptized. In order for this verse to teach that baptism is necessary for salvation, a third statement would be necessary, “He who believes and is not baptized will be condemned” or “He who is not baptized will be condemned.” BUT . . . neither of these statements is found in the verse.
Those who try to use Mark 16:16 to teach that baptism is necessary for salvation commit a common but serious mistake. Consider: "Whoever believes and lives in Texas will be saved, but those that do not believe are condemned." This statement is firmly true; Texans who believe in Jesus will be saved. BUT, to say that only those believers who live in Texas are saved is ridiculous and a false statement. The statement does not say a believer must live in Texas in order to go to Heaven. In the same way, Mark 16:16 does NOT say a believer must be baptized. The verse states a fact about baptized believers, that being they will be saved, but it says absolutely nothing about believers who have not been baptized. There may be believers who do not live in Texas, yet they are still saved; and there may be believers who have not been baptized, yet they, too, are still saved.
The one specific condition required for salvation is stated in the second part of Mark 16:16, “Whoever does not believe will be condemned.” It all boils down to: Jesus has given both the positive condition of belief (whoever believes will be saved) and the negative condition of unbelief (whoever does not believe will be condemned). I can say with absolute certainty that BELIEF is the requirement for salvation. More importantly, we see this condition restated positively and negatively throughout Scripture. (Jn.3:16,18,36; 5:24; 6:53-54; 8:24; Acts 16:31).
Here is a summary of the evidence:
- #1. The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith alone. Abraham was saved by faith, and we are saved by faith (Rom.4:1-25; Gal.6:22).
- #2. Throughout the Bible, in every dispensation, people have been saved without being baptized. Every believer in the Old Testament (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon) was saved, but not baptized. The thief on the cross was saved but not baptized. Cornelius was saved before he was baptized (Acts 10:44-46).
- #3. Baptism testifies of our faith, being a public declaration that we believe in Christ Jesus. The Scriptures tell us that we have eternal life the moment we believe (Jn.5:24), and belief always comes before being baptized. Baptism does not save us any more than walking an aisle or saying a prayer saves us. We are saved when we believe.
- #4. The Bible never says that if someone is not baptized then he is not saved. It is NOT in there!
- #5. If baptism was required for salvation, no one could be saved unless another party was present, because someone would have to be there to baptize a person before he could be saved. This would limit who could be saved and when he can be saved. The end result of this stupid and false doctrine, would be devastating. For example, a soldier who believes on the battlefield but is killed before he can be baptized would go to Hell. Stupidity!
- #6. All through the Bible we see that at the very start of faith, a believer possesses all the promises and blessings of salvation (Jn.1:12; 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; 20:31; Acts 10:43; 13:39; 16:31). The very moment a person believes God (Jn.5:24; 1 Jn.5:10-13), he has eternal life, immediately, he does not come under condemnation (Jn.3:18; Rom.8:1), and has passed from death into life (Jn.5:24; 6:47) . . . all before he or she is baptized.
If you believe in baptismal regeneration, prayerfully consider, whom or what you are really putting your trust in. Is your faith in a physical act of being baptized? or is it in the finished work of Christ on the cross? Whom or what are you trusting for salvation? Our faith must rest in Christ alone. “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph.1:7).
Gospel of Mark
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9. . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16