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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Mark 16




The Resurrection And Salvation

- Mark Sixteen -

Early the first day of the week Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome went to the tomb of Jesus with sweet spices, that they might anoint Him. They were concerned about who would roll away the huge stone from the sepulcher. They were unaware that "the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." (Matthew 28:2) The tragedy of the crucifixion was over-shadowed by the joy of the resurrection. God raised Jesus to life again. "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" (Luke 24:5) The empty tomb was the beginning of the disciples being totally convinced that Jesus was the Messiah.

The angel told the women to go and tell the disciples, and especially Peter, that Jesus would meet them in Galilee. They went immediately to deliver the Lord"s message. As the risen Savior revealed Himself to His followers they became convinced that He was Lord and Christ. When Jesus began to appear His first appearance was to a woman. "He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils." At first the disciples were reluctant to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. Even when they heard from the two disciples that had walked on the road to Emmaus with Jesus they still did not believe. Later Jesus appeared to His eleven disciples as they were eating. He rebuked them because they were too stubborn to believe the ones who had seen Him after His resurrection.

Jesus" last words reminded the apostles of their mission on earth. He said, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16) Salvation must be preached to every creature. The believing apostles were promised miraculous sings to confirm their words as the preached. This was a promise for the apostles to do miracles. It was never a promise that all believers in Jesus would do wonders.

Verses 1-8

The resurrection of Jesus - Mark 16:1-8 : The disciples of Jesus were sad and disillusioned. Their hearts were broken. They had not yet grasped the truth that on the third day Jesus would rise from the dead. (John 20:9) The disciples were downhearted yet they still loved Jesus. After the Sabbath has passed, Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Mary the mother of James bought some spices to anoint the body of Jesus. As they approached the tomb the women discussed the matter as to who would roll away the stone. How surprised they were when they saw that the stone had already been rolled away. They were also shocked to see a young man in a white robe sitting in the tomb. The man told the women not to be alarmed. He knew that they were looking for Jesus from Nazareth, who was nailed to a cross. The message was that Jesus is not here, God has raised Him to life again. The women were told to go tell the apostles and they were to specifically tell Peter.

Verses 9-14

The appearances after the resurrection - Mark 16:9-14 : The empty tomb was one great proof that Jesus was resurrected. An even greater proof of the resurrection was the post resurrection appearances of Jesus. He first appeared to Mary Magdalene. Jesus then appeared to two disciples as they walked on the Emmaus road. After that Jesus appeared to His eleven disciples as they were eating. Paul wrote about the appearances of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8. He said Jesus, "was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." There were many eyewitnesses to the resurrection. Our forgiveness of sins would be impossible without the resurrection of Jesus.

Verse 15-16

The great commission of Jesus - Mark 16:15-16 : Jesus gave His apostles the great commission. (Mark 16:15-16) The commission begins with the word "go." Some how we have the idea that the lost need to come to us. So today, in most cases, the church sits and waits for the lost. The commission continues with "go into all the world." God"s desire is that everyone hears the good news of Jesus Christ. We must be working among all kinds of people to teach the gospel to everyone. We must get up, get out of our houses or church buildings and teach people about Jesus. As we go we must preach the gospel to every creature. Concerning the preaching Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." We must believe that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 2:36) Let us carefully observe that belief alone is not enough. (James 2:19-24) He also said, "...and is baptized will be saved." Baptism is immersion in water. It is necessary for salvation. Jesus said that both belief and baptism are necessary for salvation. Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. (Acts 2:38) A part of the commission also says, "He that believeth not shall be damned." Jesus is showing that a person will not obey God by being baptized if he or she does not believe.

Verses 17-20

The word was confirmed by miracles - Mark 16:17-20 : Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe." (Mark 16:17) "Them that believe" refers to the eleven. (Mark 16:14) The antecedent of "they" is the eleven apostles. It cannot refer to the singular "he" in Mark 16:16. Mark 16:17-18 are probably two of the most misused verses in the entire Bible. Some say these verses are not a part of the original text. This is a grievous error. Others use these verses to try to prove questionable, so-called miracles, like handling snakes in worship. Those things do not fit the Bible pattern. Mark 16:20 says, "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." The "they" and "them" of Mark 16:20 is the same people that were spoken to in 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." The problem that the apostles were dealing with was unbelief. (Mark 16:14) A strong faith would lead them to carry out the great commission. (Mark 16:15-16) As they went forth with the gospel they would do genuine miracles to prove their message. (Mark 16:17-18) After the ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God the faith of the apostles had grown and they went forth to preach in all the world as commanded by Jesus. As they went forth the Lord worked with them, "confirming the word with signs following."

Those that do the Lord"s commandments will be blessed with an entrance into heaven and with the tree of life. (Revelation 22:14) To become a Christian, you must hear God"s word (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized for remission of sins. (Mark 16:16) After your baptism into Christ, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Mark 16:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". 2014.

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