MARK 16:8



The Bible says in Mark 16:8, “And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.” These women had just been spoken to by an angel and given the wonderful message that Jesus had risen from the dead. What a great day it was, and what a great privilege given to these women to be among the first to hear the message of the resurrection. They should have been filled with joy and confidence and assurance and faith because such a great thing had been revealed to them. But instead of being stronger and happier, it says that “they trembled” and “were afraid


Believers are too often just like these women. They hear the words of faith and of power and of God’s promises; and then they go out and face life with the same fears and insecurities that plague the unbelievers. This ought not to be. God reveals to us great things from His Word. He reveals to us the victory. Let’s make sure we remember the promises and face life with a strong mind instead of a fearful one.


The Bible says in Mark 16:9-10, “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.” The story of Jesus is the story of the Savior. The Savior saves sinners. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” All have sinned, but not all recognize their sins. Every human should recognize their sins and turn to Jesus, and appreciate Him, and be available to serve Him. One might think that someone who has failed the least would be the best servant; but what really happens sometimes is that the greatest of sinners make the greatest of saints. That certainly was the case with Mary Magdalene.


The Bible says that out of Mary Magdalene had been cast seven devils. It does not tell us what that meant specifically in regards to her behavior, but undoubtedly it was not good. It does tell us several important things about Mary Magdalene. It tells us that until she met Jesus she was under the control of evil forces. That should not surprise anyone. That’s what the evil spirits do. “The devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy.” The devil and his angels spend a great deal of their time trying to ruin humans spiritually and ethically. If they cannot get to you directly, then they will try to get to those whom you love.


You are no match for the devil and his angels. On your own, you will be deceived by them, overtaken by them, captured by them, and in the end totally ruined by them. That was the case of Mary Magdalene until she met Jesus. If you have a relationship with Jesus, then the devils will be cast out. Without Jesus Mary Magdalene was doomed spiritually and so are you. Hopefully you realize that. Mary realized it. She realized what Jesus had done for her, and therefore she was determined to be faithful to Him even if everyone else in the world ran away. She knew what Jesus had done for her, and so it did not really matter what the people say.


The Bible says that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene after he rose from the dead. Why did He appear first to her? He now had His resurrection body. He could go anywhere at any time and appear to anyone, and He did do that in the days to follow. But why Mary Magdalene first? For one thing she did not forget what Jesus had done for her. Also, it is important to note here that she sought Jesus out. She got as close to him as she could and she made herself available to Him. “Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.” If you want to be used of the Lord, this is what you do: get as close to Him as you can and stay close to Him; and then when the time is right, He will send you out to do something for Him.


He sent Mary Magdalene out. He sent her out to tell the disciples that He was risen from the dead. They should have known already. He told them Himself many times that He would rise from the dead after being killed. But they were weak in faith, and the Word needed to be confirmed unto them several times and in several ways before their faith and confidence would grow strong. The disciples would need a strong faith in the path that God would give them in the years ahead. “The just shall live by faith.” Jesus wanted to strengthen their faith so that they could do something for God, and so He sent Mary to them with a message: a message of power and hope and victory. If you want to have a part in others being able to accomplish something for God, then say words to them that will strengthen their faith.


Sometimes when you hand out the Word of God, you do not see an immediate effect, but God uses it just the same to plant the seed and accomplish His will. Maybe a little later someone else will say something that will build upon what you have said and the results then will be seen. Paul knew that spiritual principle. He said in First Corinthians 3:6, “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase 


Jesus sent Mary to plant the seed of the Word of truth to the apostles and the Bible says in Mark 16:10-11, “And she went and told them that she had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.” Why didn’t they believe Mary’s testimony? The reason that the disciples did not believe is the same reason that anyone does not believe when the truth is spoken to them. They already had another idea on the subject that they wanted to retain. It says in these verses that the disciples “mourned and wept


The disciples were convinced at this point that Jesus was dead and gone forever, and they were still crying and mourning over what they considered to be a fact. They had their negative, depressing, and mournful thoughts. How dare Mary to come along and give them good, positive things to think and to believe? Unbelief is just like that. Unbelief is negative and resigns itself to defeat. Unbelief leaves no room for the good and positive things of God’s Word. Unbelief always fights against faith. But when there is faith, there is joy and hope and a positive outlook. Even death can be conquered by faith. Because Jesus rose from the dead, all is well.


In spite of the lack of faith in the disciples the Lord did not give up on them. “He that has begun a good work in you, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” “Smoking flax will He not quench, and a bruised reed will He not break.” The Lord brought another witness to the disciples to help them receive and believe the truth. Mark 16:12-13 says, “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 rest: neither believed they them


In addition to waking up the disciples to the truth of the resurrection, there was probably another reason for the various appearances of Christ to the believers: irrefutable evidence of the truth of the resurrection. Doubting minds can be assured of the truth of the resurrection because of the number of times and the number of situations in which Jesus revealed Himself after the resurrection. He needed to do this because of the finality of the death on the cross, and the despair and gloom into which His disciples had fallen. The eye-witness evidence and sworn testimonies of all these individuals of good character is evidence that would be accepted in any court in any country. The empty grave is part of the evidence. But the best evidence that you will ever have is the witness of the Spirit to your spirit when you meet the living Christ personally.


The Bible says in Mark 16:14, “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.” Notice that there is a relationship between unbelief and a hard heart. It says concerning the disciples that Jesus “upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart.” True love and compassion come from God. A tender heart comes from God. The hardness of your heart will be directly related to the amount of faith that you have in the goodness and in the promises of God. Harden not your heart. Turn to God and trust in Him, and your heart will be what it should be.


The last thing that Mark records that Jesus said to the disciples is given here in Mark 16:15-18. We call it the great Commission. It says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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


The Great Commission is made up of both commandments and promises. Jesus gave two commandments: “Go” and “Preach.” Jesus tells us where to go: “into all the world.” In other words God loves everyone. Everyone needs to be saved, and everyone can be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. But how shall they believe except they hear, and how shall they hear without a preacher? That is the way that God meant it to be. Jesus told us where to go when we preach: “into all the world.” Some people think that they must go to another country in order to obey this commandment. Other people realize that the city that they now live in is part of the world. They do not need to go anywhere else to reach part of the world. They can reach those in the town they are now in.


Jesus told us where to go: into all the world. And He told us what message to preach: the gospel. The word gospel means “good news.” If you are going to preach what Jesus said to preach, then you must preach good news, not bad news. If people want to hear bad news, they can read the newspapers or read the news web-sites. If you are going to preach the good news of the gospel, you do not need to tell people all of the bad things that are going on in the world. If you do that, you will not have time to preach the good news of the gospel.


Good news! God loves you. Good news! Jesus died for your sins. Good news! If you turn from your sins and turn to Jesus, you will have the gift of God, which is eternal life. This is the good news that God hopes every soul will receive. That’s why he said to “preach the gospel to every creature.” “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance


We must point out that this Great Commission is one of the scriptural evidences against the idea that one must have water baptism to be saved. In Mark 16:16 Jesus said, “He that believes not shall be damned.” Notice that baptism is not included in that statement. We also must state that when Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved,” Jesus was undoubtedly talking about spiritual baptism. Spiritual baptism is a part of salvation. Many true believers have never had biblical water baptism, but they are still saved because when they believed on Jesus they were baptized in the Spirit.


For those who take the Great Commission to heart and get involved in doing their share according to the leading of the Spirit, Jesus promised several things. He promised, “In my name shall they cast out devils.” In other words through Jesus and His name we have power over the evil forces, because Jesus is over all. There is nothing to fear. The ones who live in fear are the evil ones. They fear the name of Christ. They fear Jesus in us.


Jesus promised, “They shall speak with new tongues.” The word “tongue” means “language.” This miracle happened to many of the first Christians. They miraculously were able to speak foreign languages that they had not studied: something that helped them to spread the gospel. In other words Jesus was saying that there would be no impediment to the spread of the gospel. If we join in, He will give all the extra added assistance that we need. And He will give all the extra protection that we may need. That’s what He meant when He promised protection from serpents, poison, or sickness should such things be encountered when fulfilling the Great Commission. After all, it is His work, and He will protect and provide as long as He wants us to be involved in it.


So the Lord finished His work by giving us all our own work to do until it is our turn to leave the earth. Jesus came into the world in a miraculous way and He left it in a miraculous way also. Mark 16:19-20 says, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following   





Copyright; 2003 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved