Mark 16

Mark 16:11

When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.

(a) Seen by her. Mary Magdalene was the first to see the Risen Lord (Mark 16:9).

(b) They refused to believe it. For a brief time, the great apostles were unbelievers.

Mark 16:13

They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.

They did not believe them either. The disciples did not believe Mary Magdalene and they didn’t believe the two disciples. Even when Jesus himself appeared in their midst, they did not believe he had risen. They thought they were seeing a ghost (Luke 24:37, 41). They were not only faithless, they were law-breakers. In the presence of two or three witnesses, let every matter be established (Deu. 19:15, 2 Cor. 13:1).

Mark 16:16

“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

He who has believed. In the New Testament, there are more than 200 imperative statements linked with faith. Some of these statements exhort us to: receive Jesus (John 1:11-12, 5:43), obey or heed the message or good news of Jesus (John 17:6) and turn to God in repentance (Acts 26:20).

Other scriptures encourage us to accept the word (Mark 4:20), confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9), call on the name of the Lord (Act 2:21), eat the bread of life (John 6:50-51), be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20), submit to God’s righteousness (Rom. 10:3), and be born again (John 3:3, 7).

But the one imperative that appears far more than any other, is the instruction to believe. We are to believe in Jesus (see entry for John 3:16).

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