Mark 16


Mark 16:1

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.

(a) When the Sabbath was over. Jesus was crucified on the preparation day (Friday morning; see Mark 15:42) that preceded the Sabbath (the second day), and his empty tomb was discovered the day after the Sabbath (Sunday morning, the third day). On several occasions Jesus prophesied that he would rise on the third day (Matt. 16:21, 17:23, 20:19, Luke 9:22, 18:33) and that prophecy came true. Further reading: “Good Friday Timeline.

(b) Bought spices. Since they visited the tomb before sunrise on the first day of the week (John 20:1), the two Marys and Salome may have purchased the spices on Saturday night, after the Sabbath had ended. However, in Luke’s account it appears they purchased and prepared the spices on the day of preparation, before the Sabbath (Luke 23:56, 24:1).

(c) Mary the mother of James was also the mother of Joseph (Mark 15:40) and probably the wife of Clopas (John 19:25). If so, Mary was Jesus’ aunt on his father’s side (see entry for Matt. 27:56).

(d) Salome was likely Jesus’ aunt on his mother’s side (see entry for Matt. 27:56).


Mark 16:2

Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

(a) They came to the tomb. The three women who came to the tomb on Sunday, included the two who came on Friday, namely Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, plus Salome (Mark 16:1).


Mark 16:6

And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.

Jesus the Nazarene; see entry for Mark 14:67.


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). Simon Peter and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus saw him next (Luke 24:31, 34).

(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 16:15

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

(a) Preach. We are instructed to do two things with the gospel; believe it and preach it.

Jesus preached the gospel (Luke 20:1), and his disciples and the apostles preached the gospel (Luke 9:6, Acts 8:25, 14:7, 21, 16:10, 1 Cor. 1:17). We proclaim the good news of God’s grace so that all may know the peace and joy that comes from receiving the Father’s great love.

(b) The gospel refers to the gospel of Christ or the gospel of God or the gospel of the kingdom. These are all different labels for the gospel of grace. See entry for The Gospel.


Mark 16:16

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

(a) 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).

(b) Baptized. The baptism that saves is the baptism done to every believer by the Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 3:21). This is not a reference to water baptism or any kind of baptism other than the one baptism that truly counts (Eph. 4:5). The moment you came to Jesus, you were baptized or placed into his body by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:12–13). See entry for Baptism.

(c) Shall be saved. Jesus preached for a verdict. He began his message encouraging people to repent and believe the good news (Mark 1:15), and he ended it with the same message. Likewise, the apostles who came after encouraged their listeners to repent, believe the good news, and be saved (Acts 4:12, 17:30, 1 Tim. 2:4, 1 John 3:23).


Mark 16:20

And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.]
[And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]

(a) Confirmed the word by the signs that followed. The gospel of the kingdom is a show and tell gospel (Matt 4:23). When we preach the good news, the Holy Spirit confirms the word with supernatural signs.

(b) The word is the word of God (Luke 8:11) or the word of the kingdom (Matt. 13:19) or the word of the Christ (Rom. 10:17). In short, it is the gospel of Jesus (Mark 1:1).


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