Mark 16 Bible Commentary

McGarvey and Pendleton

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(Read all of Mark 16)
16:1  And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. ANGELS ANNOUNCE THE RESURRECTION TO CERTAIN WOMEN. PETER AND JOHN ENTER THE EMPTY TOMB. (Joseph's Garden. Sunday, very early.) Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8,12; John 20:1-10

16:6  And he saith unto them, Be not amazed: ye seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold, the place where they laid him1!
Behold, the place where they laid him. Here is a double wonder, that men should put the Son of God in a grave, and that he should consent to be put there.

16:7  But go, tell his disciples1 and Peter2, He goeth before you into Galilee3: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you4.
But go, tell his disciples. The women are told to hasten, for the disciples were not to endure their sorrow a moment longer than was needful.
And Peter. Peter was mentioned by name that he might know that he was not cast off for his denial.
He goeth before you into Galilee. The Lord appeared to some chosen few in Judea, but the large body of his disciples were to see him in Galilee. See Section 141.
There shall ye see him, as he said unto you. Jesus had appointed a place of meeting; but we are not told where it was nor when he appointed it.

16:8  And they went out, and fled from the tomb1; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid2.
And they went out, and fled from the tomb. The women, having received the message of the angels, and remembering that the message accorded with the words of Jesus himself (Luke 24:8), made haste.
And they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid. They told none whom they met, but reserved the message for the apostles.

16:9  Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene1, from whom he had cast out seven demons. FIRST AND SECOND APPEARANCES OF THE RISEN CHRIST. THE RESURRECTION REPORTED TO THE APOSTLES. (Jerusalem. Sunday morning.) Matthew 28:9,10; Mark 16:9-11; Luke 24:9-11; John 20:11-18
He appeared first to Mary Magdalene. Mark here agrees with John that Mary separated from the other women (John 20:2). As to Mary Magdalene, see Luke 7:37 and see Luke 8:2. After telling Peter and John about the empty tomb, Mary followed them back to it, and evidently reached it after they had left it.

16:10  She went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept1.
As they mourned and wept. The poignancy of the disciples' grief, even after the intervention of the Sabbath day, explains why the Lord and his angels were so eager to bring them word of the resurrection.

16:11  And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her2, disbelieved.
They . . . disbelieved. Lamar well says that this very incredulity on the part of the apostles

"enhances the value of their testimony to "the fact" of the resurrection. They were not expecting it; they were no visionary enthusiasts, prepared to welcome and credit any story that might be told them; nor would they be satisfied with any proof short of palpable and ocular demonstrations."
When they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her. It is likely that Mary brought the first word, for Luke places her first in the catalogue of witnesses (Luke 24:10).

16:12  And after these things he was manifested in another form1 unto two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. THIRD AND FOURTH APPEARANCES OF JESUS. (Sunday afternoon.) Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13-35; 1 Corinthians 15:5
He was manifested in another form. That is, another manner.

16:13  And they went away and told it unto the rest: neither believed they them2.
And they went and told [it] to the rest. Their news was too precious to keep. They could not sit still till the disciples in Jerusalem knew it.
Neither believed they them. They now believed that Jesus had risen, but they did not believe that these two had walked and talked with him without recognizing him.*

*NOTE.--Here again we dissent. So general a statement of "unbelief" would not be used when there was a mere doubt as to some of the "narrated details". We prefer in our original comment to this substitution, and it was this: Mark shows us that little dependence can be placed upon the apparently strong admission which Luke records. Unable to contradict the testimony of Peter, they said, "The Lord is risen indeed" (Luke 24:34); but their hearts were, nevertheless, full of doubt. Luke himself shows this in the next section, for these professedly believing apostles took Jesus for a spirit when they saw him. --Philip Y. Pendleton

16:14  And afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart1, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. FIFTH APPEARANCE OF JESUS.

(Jerusalem. Sunday evening)

Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25
And he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart. Here, as in the previous section, Jesus shows that the heart has much to do with the belief.
Because they believed not them who had seen him after he was risen. They had had the testimony of three men and perhaps a half dozen women; they had not lacked evidence.

16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world1, and preach the gospel to the whole creation2. THE GREAT COMMISSION GIVEN. (Time and place same as last section.) Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:46,47
Go ye into all the world. The first word of the commission is significant, and should be remembered. We have no right to wait for sinners to come and hear the gospel; we must carry it to them. See Matthew 10:6.
And preach the gospel to the whole creation. The command calls for the Christianizing of all nations. If we realized better that authority with which Christ prefaces his commission (Matthew 28:18), the conquest of the nations in his name would seem to us a small matter indeed, and we should set about it expecting to witness its speedy accomplishment.

16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved1; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Baptism brings us into divine relation to God. Being a part of the process of adoption, it is called a birth (John 3:5). The baptized Christian bears the name into which he is baptized (Romans 2:24; James 2:7).

16:17  And these signs shall accompany them that believe1: in my name shall they cast out demons2; they shall speak with new tongues3; Mark 16:17,18
And these signs shall accompany them that believe. The Book of Acts gives examples of each one of these except the fourth.
In my name shall they cast out demons. See Acts 5:16; Acts 8:7; Acts 16:18
They shall speak with new tongues. See Acts 2:4; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6.

16:18  they shall take up serpents1, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them2; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
They shall take up serpents. See Acts 28:3-5.
And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them. Though we have no record of a disciple escaping the effects of drinking poison, there is little doubt that in the many persecutions such cases did occur.

16:19  So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. THE ASCENSION. (Olivet, between Jerusalem and Bethany.) Mark 16:19,20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-12