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Scared of Truth that is Bigger than Us

Mark 16:8

Today's verse is the strange anti-climax of Mark's Gospel.  Many scholars consider that this is the last verse Mark wrote personally as most of the early copies of his Gospel end here.  If that is so, why does Mark leave us in suspense, instead of soothing our minds with a 'happy ending'?  The scene is still around the tomb.  The huge millstone used to seal the burial site, a few hours earlier the object of impenetrable authority, was discarded on the ground as an angel sat on it declaring God's authority over death (Matthew 28:20).  The time is still just after dawn.  The light shines into

Refusing to Believe the Evidence

Mark 16:9-11

This last section of Mark's Gospel (Mark 16:9-20) comments on the disciple's astonishing refusal to believe that Jesus was alive.  Most scholars agree that it probably was not written by Mark's pen, as its style and vocabulary are so different from the rest of the gospel, and the earliest copies do not have anything after verse 8 *.  However, it agrees with the details of the other three gospel writers, it is historically accurate and accepted as part of the Scriptures, God’s Word.  Whoever wrote it, underscored a major theme of the book - that even those who were closest to Jesus were blin

Fear Does Not Believe That Jesus Is In Command

Mark 16:12-13

These verses continue the theme of unbelief among Jesus’ close followers and disciples: they did not believe that He could be alive, raised from death.  ‘They did not believe them either’ shows that the women did not believe that Mary Magdalene had met the Lord, and that Peter and John did not believe the evidence of the empty tomb, and that the disciples did not believe the couple's experience of Jesus in their home in Emmaus.  Most of all it shows that they did not believe the words of Jesus who told them at least three times that He would be killed and then rise from death on th

Religious but Refusing to Believe

Mark 16:14

The disciples followed Jesus but did they believe Him; what He said and who He was?  The narrative of Jesus' post-resurrection encounter with the disciples in Luke 24:41-43 does not have the stern rebuke that is recorded here.  However, the fact was that the disciples were not believing, nor were their hearts filled with joy.  They were filled with fear and unwilling to believe what they could not see or rationalise.  They stubbornly refused to accept the often-repeated promise of Jesus that He would rise from the dead on the third day.

The Gospel is a 'Message to Go'

Mark 16:15-16

This passage echoes Matthew 28:18-20 which we know as the Great Commission.  It also reflects John 3:18 which makes an infinite distinction between those who believe in the Lord Jesus and those who do not -  the former are saved but the latter are already condemned.  That is why the Commission is so 'Great' - it has huge importance because those who do not respond to the Gospel message are already in the lap of hell.  And it is only the Gospel that has the power to reveal Jesus as the Saviour who can 'rescue us from the coming wrath' (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

Signs to Strengthen Faith

Mark 16:17-18

Signs are not designed to be objects of wonder in their own right: their job is to point out the right way to go.  They are not intended as museum pieces for admiration, but as obvious turning points to enable people to get on track.  As the Gospel message spread, the book of the Acts tells of all sorts of miracles that drew attention to the uniquely powerful Jesus.  In astonishing ways, while some apostles died as martyrs, others were preserved through multiple life-threatening circumstances (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).  Such signs were a part of God's commendation of Jesus (Acts 2:22), and o

Jesus Still Has The Same Authority

Mark 16:19-20

Although Mark probably did not pen the final 11 verses of the Gospel, this final summary bridges the gap between Jesus' life and the ministry of the early church.  Following Mark's theme about the authority which people recognised in Jesus (Mark 1:27; Mark 2:10; Mark 3:15), this postscript to Mark's Gospel makes clear that His authority continued and continues.  Having ascended to heaven, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God.  This means that Jesus is the one in whom all authority in heaven and earth has been delegated (Matthew 28:18).  The seated position on the heavenly throne marks Hi

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