Chapter 52

Resurrection, preaching, ascension
Mark 16:9-20 (NKJV)[1]

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9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. 12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

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Mark 16:9-14
Risen

Mary Magdalene, along with James’ mother and Salome, is initially confused about Jesus’ resurrection. Here we read that then she meets Him on the first day of the week and tells others who are mourning and weeping. They don’t believe her. Then Jesus appears to two walking in the country. (They seem to be the two Emmaus Road disciples recorded in Luke’s Gospel.)[2] Others also disbelieve them about the resurrection. Then Jesus meets the eleven disciples eating together. He rebukes their hard hearts for not believing those testifying about His resurrection. It is vital to come to know the risen Saviour and to share Him with others!

Mark 16:15-18
Preach

Jesus tells His disciples to preach the gospel worldwide to everyone. [3] Each Christian and church should join in doing that. Believers should be baptised. Personal belief in Jesus, His death on the cross for our sins, and His resurrection from the dead, precedes baptism. It is belief in Christ that saves, not baptism. Condemnation is for those failing to believe in the only One who can forgive their sins, not for those failing to be baptised. Specific signs will follow the gospel’s advance into new areas, validating the Christians’ message, work and service with the authority of the founding apostles. Those signs will mark them out as God’s servants. Today our authority comes from a completed Bible—God’s inerrant and infallible word.

Mark 16:19-20
Ascended

The risen Christ speaks to His disciples, ascends to Heaven, and sits at His rightful place on God’s right hand.  Our great and eternally living High Priest presents to Heaven His finished work of Calvary’s cross for sinners! Meanwhile, His disciples go and preach, with accompanying signs.

If you know Jesus as your personal risen and ascended Lord and Saviour, may you see the very best accompanying signs of people coming to trust Jesus through you! May they also see your different life and respond to Jesus Christ, as you explain how they can come to know Him by turning from sins and asking Him to forgive them, enter their lives, and lead them in His way! How glorifying this will be to God as you introduce them to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[4]

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[1]   .   Many wonder why some translations of the Bible leave out Mark 16:9-20. Only in a very few early copies of Mark’s Gospel (some say only two copies, one of which is flawed) are some or all of those verses missing. They are, however, found in the overwhelming majority of reliable Bible manuscripts. They are also cited from the earliest times by several early Church leaders. Those leaders’ comments are said to predate those very few copies which do not carry those verses! Where did they get the verses from if they did not exist then?  The author sees nothing in verses 9-20 to make him doubt their authenticity and so they are included here. Many have been blessed and challenged by these verses, which in any case are in no way inconsistent with the rest of Scripture and historically completely accurate.
[2]   .  Luke 24:13-35.
[3]   .  Mark 16:15.
[4]  .  Mark1:1—We finish Mark’s Gospel where we started with Jesus Christ, the Son of God! How appropriate for the only One who is ‘the same yesterday, and today, and forever’!

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Questions on Chapter 52
Mark 16:9-20 Resurrection, preaching, ascension.

A. See verses 13 and 14. Does everyone immediately believe in Jesus’ resurrection? How does risen Jesus talk to some of them? What does that show about the resurrection and God’s ability to change people?   Mark 16:13-14   Luke 24: 13-35   Luke 24:36-49   1 Corinthians 15:3-9

B. What are the main points of the gospel to be preached? Why should Christians share it with as many people as possible?   Mark 16:15   1 Corinthians 15:3-4   Luke 24:47   Mark 16:15   Matthew 28:18-20

C. Could Jesus to ascend into Heaven, where He is seated now, without first rising from death? How is Jesus, as ‘Emmanuel’ (‘God with us’), unlike any religious teacher, past or present?   Mark 16:9, 19   Acts 1:3, 9-11   Hebrews 10:12   John 19:30   1 Timothy 3:16   Ephesians 1:20   Philippians 2:9-11   Acts 4:12   John 14:6