Read thru the New Testament-March 17

Mark 16

Mk. 16:1-3-It’s Sunday morning (the sun had risen). Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome went to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus for burial.

Mk. 16:4-As they were walking to the tomb they were trying to figure out who they would get to role the large stone away from the entrance.  However, when they arrived, the stone had already been rolled away.

Mk. 16:5-8-They entered the tomb and saw what appeared to be a young man sitting to their right, wearing a white robe.  They were amazed.  The man was really an angel and he tells them that Jesus has risen from the dead.  He instructs them to tell His disciples that He will meet them in Galilee. He specifically mentions Peter. This is probably due to the fact that Peter would not consider himself worthy of being a disciple of Jesus, any more.  More than any other disciple Peter had boasted that he would never forsake Jesus.  And then, when the moment came, he denied Him not once, but three times.  Jesus wanted to make sure that Peter knew that he was still one of His followers and wanted him to come along with the others to Galilee.

Mk. 16:9-20-These verses are not in two of the most trusted manuscripts.  Verse 8 ends very abruptly, suggesting that perhaps the last part of this gospel was lost and that someone later wrote verses 9-20 and added them (Ryrie).  Jesus appears to Mary (:9), to two people walking in the country (:12), to the 11 apostles (:12). He reproached them for not believing the others when they told them that He has risen.  He then gives them a commission to go into all of the world, and identifies signs that will accompany them (:17-18).

Mk.16:16-Some try to use this verse as a proof text that you must be baptized in order to be saved.  However, there are numerous other passages that clearly and definitively support the correct teaching that salvation is the result of faith in Christ…nothing else and nothing more.  Also, a simple reading of this verse tells us that a person will be condemned not because he wasn’t baptized, but because he did not believe.  The point of baptism here is that it is such an anticipated,expected response to being saved…that it is mentioned in context with it without hesitation.  Some explain this verse by suggesting that the baptism mentioned here is not water baptism, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit…in which case it would be true for all believers.

Mk.16:17-18-There are some who suggest that the signs mentioned here are signs of true faith and that believers should do these things to prove that their faith is authentic.  However, notice that it doesn’t say that all believers will do this…but, that some will and that when they do so it will be a sign of authentication.  Why is that important? Because in the coming days there would be many impostors.  If all believers are supposed to do these signs…then the questions should be asked, “How many of the Apostles did them?  How many times do we read of the believers in the churches of the New Testament doing them?”  Paul is the only one who it mentions picking up a serpent and no one is recorded of drinking poison.  So obviously, not all believers are required or even expected to do so. Jesus is simply identifying some of the signs that some of His followers would perform.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for specifically mentioning Peter.  I know that he must have been discouraged and have felt unworthy.  But You made it absolutely clear that he was still included.  I see myself there, Lord.  Sometimes I don’t feel worthy (I know that in and of myself I really am not)…but, despite my failures and my weakness You still include me.

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