Mark Chapter Sixteen
The last chapter is divided into two parts-a fact that has even given rise to questions as to the authenticity of verses 9-20. The first part of the chapter, verses 1-8, relates the end of the history in connection with the re-establishment of that which has always been before us in this Gospel -the relationship of the Prophet of Israel, and of the kingdom with the people (or at least with the remnant of the chosen people). The disciples, and Peter, whom the Lord individually acknowledges in spite (yea, in grace, because) of his denial of his Master, were to go and meet Him in Galilee, as He said unto them. There the connection was re-established between Jesus in resurrection and the poor of the flock, who waited for Him (they alone being recognised as the people before God). The women say nothing to any others. The testimony of Christ risen was committed only to His disciples, to these despised Galileans. Fear was the means employed by the providence of God to prevent the women speaking of it, as they would naturally have done.
Verses 9-20. This is another testimony. The disciples do not appear here as an elect remnant, but in the unbelief natural to man. The message is sent to the whole world. Mary Magdalene, formerly possessed by seven demons-the absolute slave of that dreadful power-is employed to communicate the knowledge of His resurrection to the companions of Jesus. Afterwards Jesus Himself appears to them, and gives them their commission. He tells them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. It is no longer specifically the gospel of the kingdom. Whosoever throughout the world believed and joined Christ by baptism should be saved: he who believed not should be condemned. It was a question of salvation or condemnation-the believer saved, he who refused the message condemned. Moreover, if any one was convinced of the truth but refused to unite with the disciples confessing the Lord, his case would be so much the worse. Therefore it is said, "he who believeth and is baptised." Signs of power should accompany believers, and they should be preserved from that of the enemy.
The first sign should be their dominion over evil spirits, the second, the proof of that grace which went beyond the narrow limits of Israel, addressing itself to all the world. They should speak divers languages.
Besides this, with respect to the power of the enemy, manifested in doing harm, the venom of serpents and poisons should have no effect upon them, and diseases should yield to their authority.
In a word, it should be the overthrowal of the power of the enemy over man, and the proclamation of grace unto all men.
Having thus given them their commission, Jesus ascends to heaven, and sits at the right hand of God-the place from which thus power shall come forth to bless, and from which He will return to put the poor of the flock in possession of the kingdom. Meanwhile, the disciples occupy His place, extending their sphere of service unto the ends of the earth; and the Lord confirms their word by the signs that follow them.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Mark》
Christ's resurrection made known the women. (1-8) Christ appears to Mary Magdalene and other disciples. (9-13) His commission to the apostles. (14-18) Christ's ascension. (19,20)
Commentary on Mark 16:1-8
(Read Mark 16:1-8)
Nicodemus brought a large quantity of spices, but these good women did not think that enough. The respect others show to Christ, should not hinder us from showing our respect. And those who are carried by holy zeal, to seek Christ diligently, will find the difficulties in their way speedily vanish. When we put ourselves to trouble and expense, from love to Christ, we shall be accepted, though our endeavours are not successful. The sight of the angel might justly have encouraged them, but they were affrighted. Thus many times that which should be matter of comfort to us, through our own mistake, proves a terror to us. He was crucified, but he is glorified. He is risen, he is not here, not dead, but alive again; hereafter you will see him, but you may here see the place where he was laid. Thus seasonable comforts will be sent to those that lament after the Lord Jesus. Peter is particularly named, Tell Peter; it will be most welcome to him, for he is in sorrow for sin. A sight of Christ will be very welcome to a true penitent, and a true penitent is very welcome to a sight of Christ. The men ran with all the haste they could to the disciples; but disquieting fears often hinder us from doing that service to Christ and to the souls of men, which, if faith and the joy of faith were strong, we might do.
Commentary on Mark 16:9-13
(Read Mark 16:9-13)
Better news cannot be brought to disciples in tears, than to tell them of Christ's resurrection. And we should study to comfort disciples that are mourners, by telling them whatever we have seen of Christ. It was a wise providence that the proofs of Christ's resurrection were given gradually, and admitted cautiously, that the assurance with which the apostles preached this doctrine afterwards might the more satisfy. Yet how slowly do we admit the consolations which the word of God holds forth! Therefore while Christ comforts his people, he often sees it needful to rebuke and correct them for hardness of heart in distrusting his promise, as well as in not obeying his holy precepts.
Commentary on Mark 16:14-18
(Read Mark 16:14-18)
The evidences of the truth of the gospel are so full, that those who receive it not, may justly be upbraided with their unbelief. Our blessed Lord renewed his choice of the eleven as his apostles, and commissioned them to go into all the world, to preach his gospel to every creature. Only he that is a true Christian shall be saved through Christ. Simon Magus professed to believe, and was baptized, yet he was declared to be in the bonds of iniquity: see his history in Acts 8:13-25. Doubtless this is a solemn declaration of that true faith which receives Christ in all his characters and offices, and for all the purposes of salvation, and which produces its right effect on the heart and life; not a mere assent, which is a dead faith, and cannot profit. The commission of Christ's ministers extends to every creature throughout the world, and the declarations of the gospel contain not only truths, encouragements, and precepts, but also most awful warnings. Observe what power the apostles should be endued with, for confirming the doctrine they were to preach. These were miracles to confirm the truth of the gospel, and means of spreading the gospel among nations that had not heard it.
Commentary on Mark 16:19,20
(Read Mark 16:19,20)
After the Lord had spoken he went up into heaven. Sitting is a posture of rest, he had finished his work; and a posture of rule, he took possession of his kingdom. He sat at the right hand of God, which denotes his sovereign dignity and universal power. Whatever God does concerning us, gives to us, or accepts from us, it is by his Son. Now he is glorified with the glory he had before the world. The apostles went forth, and preached every where, far and near. Though the doctrine they preached was spiritual and heavenly, and directly contrary to the spirit and temper of the world; though it met with much opposition, and was wholly destitute of all worldly supports and advantages; yet in a few years the sound went forth unto the ends of the earth. Christ's ministers do not now need to work miracles to prove their message; the Scriptures are proved to be of Divine origin, and this renders those without excuse who reject or neglect them. The effects of the gospel, when faithfully preached, and truly believed, in changing the tempers and characters of mankind, form a constant proof, a miraculous proof, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, of all who believe.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Mark》
 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
At the rising of the sun — They set out while it was yet dark, and came within sight of the sepulchre, for the first time, just as it grew light enough to discern that the stone was rolled away, Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1; John 20:1. But by the time Mary had called Peter and John, and they had viewed the sepulchre, the sun was rising.
 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
Who shall roll us away the stone — This seems to have been the only difficulty they apprehended. So they knew nothing of Pilate's having sealed the stone, and placed a guard of soldiers there.
 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
And Peter — Though he so oft denied his Lord. What amazing goodness was this!
 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
Neither believed they them — They were moved a little by the testimony of these, added to that of St. Peter, Luke 24:34; but they did not yet fully believe it.
 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature — Our Lord speaks without any limitation or restriction. If therefore every creature in every age hath not heard it, either those who should have preached, or those who should have heard it, or both, made void the counsel of God herein. Matthew 28:19.
 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
And is baptized — In token thereof. Every one that believed was baptized.
But he that believeth not — Whether baptized or unbaptized, shall perish everlastingly.
 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
And these signs shall follow them that believe — An eminent author sub-joins, "That believe with that very faith mentioned in the preceding verse." (Though it is certain that a man may work miracles, and not have saving faith, Matthew 7:22,23.) "It was not one faith by which St. Paul was saved, another by which he wrought miracles. Even at this day in every believer faith has a latent miraculous power; (every effect of prayer being really miraculous;) although in many, both because of their own littleness of faith, and because the world is unworthy, that power is not exerted. Miracles, in the beginning, were helps to faith; now also they are the object of it. At Leonberg, in the memory of our fathers, a cripple that could hardly move with crutches, while the dean was preaching on this very text, was in a moment made whole." Shall follow - The word and faith must go before.
In my name — By my authority committed to them. Raising the dead is not mentioned. So our Lord performed even more than he promised.
 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
If they drink any deadly thing — But not by their own choice. God never calls us to try any such experiments.
 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
The Lord — How seasonable is he called by this title! After he had spoken to them - For forty days. Luke 24:50.
 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
They preached every where — At the time St. Mark wrote, the apostles had already gone into all the known world, Romans 10:18; and each of them was there known where he preached: the name of Christ only was known throughout the world.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Mark》
Chapter 16. Risen and Ascended
Lay Hands on
They Will Recover
I. Jesus Risen from the Dead
II. Appearance After Resurrection
III. Preach the Good News to All Nations
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
"FIVE VIEWS OF MARK 16:16"
How Some People Just Will Not Accept The Obvious
1. There is a statement of Jesus that is so plain, and yet so
a. That you rarely hear it referred to by denominational preachers,
whether it be in their churches or on TV or the radio
b. That when they do, they feel it necessary to give an explanation
that goes against the clear statement of Jesus
2. I have reference to the words of Jesus as found in Mark 16:16...
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does
not believe will be condemned."
3. To illustrate what I said earlier, let's take a look at four
different views of this verse as taught by men, and then contrast
those views with the one plainly stated by Jesus and supported by
His apostles in their teaching and preaching...
[The first view is one held by those who do not profess to be
Christians, but for the purpose of our lesson should be considered.
In essence, they would say...]
I. HE WHO BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED "WILL NOT" BE SAVED
A. TWO SEPARATE GROUPS HOLD THIS VIEW...
1. ATHEISTS - who do not believe in God, heaven or hell, or
salvation of any kind
2. JEWS, MUSLIMS, HINDUS, etc.
a. Who believe in God (or gods)
b. But who do not believe that salvation is to be found in
c. And that to believe and/or be baptized is contrary to the
will of God
B. BUT THOSE WHO ACCEPT JESUS AND THE AUTHORITY OF HIS APOSTLES
REJECT SUCH A VIEW...
1. There IS a God who offers salvation (contrary to the views of
atheists) - 1 Ti 2:3-4
2. Salvation DOES come only through Jesus (contrary to the Jews,
Muslims, Hindus, etc.) - 1 Ti 2:5-6; Jn 14:6
[Though I doubt any present actually hold to this view, there are some
who do, and it only begins to illustrate how some are willing to deny
the plain statement of Jesus.
Consider a second view...]
II. HE WHO "DOES NOT BELIEVE" AND "IS NOT BAPTIZED" WILL BE SAVED
A. THIS VIEW IS HELD BY "UNIVERSALISTS"...
1. Who believe that God will save everyone eventually
2. To support their view, they will isolate some verses like 1 Ti
B. BUT THOSE WHO KNOW THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST AND PAUL LIKEWISE
REJECT SUCH A VIEW...
1. Jesus Himself told that there would be few who would be saved
- Mt 7:13-14
2. Paul warned of those who would not be saved, but would face
the wrath of God - Ep 5:5-6
[Most "Bible-believing, professing Christians" would never treat Mark
16:16 the way the first two views do. But as we consider two more
views, we may start hitting closer to "home".
But please understand...that we do so, desiring to "speak the truth in
love"; and we pray that your love for the truth is such that you are
willing to serious consider what follows (cf. Ac 17:11).
The third "view" then...]
III. HE WHO "DOES NOT BELIEVE" AND "IS BAPTIZED" WILL BE SAVED
A. THIS VIEW IS HELD BY MOST WHO PRACTICE "INFANT BAPTISM"...
1. By "baptizing" (actually sprinkling, not immersing) infants
incapable of faith...
a. They (esp. Catholics) indicate that faith is not essential
b. Some (esp. Lutherans) try to get around this by saying that
God imparts saving faith to the infant so baptism can still
2. By sprinkling or pouring instead of immersion, they also
indicate Jesus did not mean what He said (the reason
"BAPTIZED" above is in quotes)
B. BUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, WE MUST POINT OUT...
1. That faith is a necessary prerequisite...
a. For baptism - Ac 8:35-37
b. For salvation - Ro 10:9-10
2. That sprinkling or pouring is NOT Bible baptism...
a. The Greek word used in the Bible is "baptizo", and it means
b. This is why baptism is described in the Bible as a "burial"
- cf. Ro 6:3-4; Co 2:12
c. Sprinkling or pouring was substituted in the place of
baptism (immersion) hundreds of years after Christ and His
d. By keeping the "tradition of men" by sprinkling or pouring,
we fail to keep the "command of God" concerning baptism -
cf. Jesus' condemnation of displacing God's commands by
traditions of men, Mt 15:3-9
3. That baptizing infants is without scriptural precedent
a. There are no commands or examples of infant baptism
b. Since the prerequisites of faith (Mk 16:16; Ac 8:37) and
repentance (Ac 2:38; 17:30) are beyond the infant's
capability, they are not suitable candidates for baptism
[I am confident that those who hold to the view of sprinkling infants
are honest and sincere. But despite their honest sincerity, they are
just as guilty of twisting the words of Jesus as are the atheists,
unbelieving Jews (and Muslims, Hindus, etc.) and the universalists.
But there is another view sincerely held by many, and that is...]
IV. HE WHO BELIEVES AND "IS NOT BAPTIZED" WILL BE SAVED
A. THIS VIEW IS HELD BY THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN SALVATION BY FAITH
1. That one is saved BEFORE baptism
2. That baptism is not essential to salvation
-- This view is held for all practical purposes by most members
of various denominations
B. BUT JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES CLEARLY TAUGHT DIFFERENTLY...
1. That faith "alone" cannot save
a. As declared by Jesus - cf. Mt 7:21; Lk 6:46
b. As taught by His apostles - cf. Ro 6:17-18; He 5:9;
Ja 2:14,17,20,24,26; 1 Pe 1:22; 1 Jn 2:3-5
2. That baptism IS essential to salvation
a. According to Jesus - Jn 3:5; Mk 16:16; Mt 28:18-20
b. According to His apostles - Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ga 3:26-27; Co
2:12-13; Ti 3:5; 1 Pe 3:21
[Again, I believe that those who hold this view (including personal
relatives) are sincere, and are not knowingly twisting the words of
Jesus. Yet, I cannot help but think of such people as Paul thought of
his brethren in the flesh (cf. Ro 10:1-3).
This leads us to the fifth and final view, one that I believe we are
compelled to accept...]
V. HE WHO BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED WILL BE SAVED
A. THIS VIEW TAKES THE WORDS OF JESUS AT FACE VALUE...
1. No explanations are necessary
2. Jesus says what He means, and means what He says
B. WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN PREVIOUSLY THAT THE BIBLE TEACHES...
1. That one must "believe" - cf. Ac 8:36-37
2. That one must be "baptized" to enjoy the forgiveness of sins
- cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16
1. Which of the five views of Mark 16:16 do you hold to?
a. He who believes and is baptized "will not" be saved?
b. He who "does not believe" and "is not baptized" will be saved?
c. He who "does not believe" and "is baptized" will be saved?
d. He who believes and "is not baptized" will be saved?
e. He who believes and is baptized will be saved?
-- It should be clear that there is only view which is in harmony
with Jesus' words, as there is only one which does not involve
"tampering" with the clear statement of Jesus!
2. But perhaps more importantly, with which of these views is your life
a. One may hold intellectually to the FIFTH view...
1) But act as though they believed the SECOND view
2) How? By never confessing faith in Christ and being baptized!
b. One may hold intellectually to the FIFTH view...
1) But act as though they believed the THIRD view
2) How? For though they may have been "baptized", they are not
living the life of faith required of one in Jesus!
c. One may hold intellectually to the FIFTH view...
1) But act as though they believed the FOURTH view
2) How? For while believing in Jesus, they have never submitted
to being baptized!
Only those who have come to Jesus in faith and ACTED in harmony with
His teachings can have the assurance of salvation. The words of the
Bible are clear...
"Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash
away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
- Ac 2:38; 22:16