Mark 16:12-20 (NASB)

Why The Resurrection Matters


12 Now after that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. 13 And they went away and reported it to the rest, but they did not believe them, either.

•       We jump right back in to the account of what happened after the resurrection. The gospel here confirms the story that we see in Luke 24:13, the road to Emmaus. I’ve got three snippets from the text we can look at. 
•       In Mark’s cliff notes version, verse 13 says “but they did not believe.” That is what he wanted to highlight from the interaction. The miraculous nature of Jesus altering his appearance, teleporting away from them before their very eyes, that’s not the focus.
•       Instead, we center in on the unbelief of the disciples. This is a refrain we see many times throughout chapter 16. Starting with verse 8, again in verse 11 and now for a third time “they do not believe”. 

14 Later He appeared to the eleven disciples themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reprimanded them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen from the dead. 

•       In verse 8 the angel told the women that Jesus would appear to his disciples. And now we get that part of the story. In Mark’s account it’s not an entirely joyous reunion. Jesus is hard on his disciples, chastising their unbelief. Again, we see a different focus from Mark. The gospel of John tells us how happy the disciples are to see Jesus. But Mark is all business, there is no time for details like that!

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

•       He tells them to go. What are they to do? Preach. Where? Into all the world. To who? all creation.
•       Jesus tells them what he expects them to do next. He commissions them.
•       He has told them to go out and preach the good news. But how are they to do that? They just experienced firsthand their own disbelief. How can they possibly be effective at preaching the gospel themselves? 

16 The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

•       Vs 17 He tells them they will be accompanied by signs, that they will be filled with power!
•        Jesus explains that it will be miraculous, but from the Gospel of John we know it isn’t surprising.
•       John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
•       Jesus says we will do more than he did in his ministry.

19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.

•       Mark starts out pretty sudden. There is no birth, no genealogy, just right in to it. 
•       And similarly, the book ends. He’s gone and off they go!
•       the point Mark makes is that they listen, and the Lord worked with them. The gospel message was confirmed by the miraculous signs. That is the encouragement he wanted to leave his readers with.
•       It was the beginning of a new day; the Sabbath is over. Jesus is telling them they can do it, and they do. After a terrible track record of failing at every turn, verse 20 is almost unexpected.
•       Between verse 14 and 20 we see radically different men.
•       Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of God and we as his followers have a job to do.

What’s it all about?

His disciples had a job to do here, they were to continue his ministry. And I’ll tell you it continues with us. They didn’t finish the job, neither did the early church. You and I have a role to play. Jesus left us with some homework. So let’s check in, how are we doing with it?

How are we doing with the homework? 
We are to “go… and preach… the gospel”!
Am I going?
how is your life lived in service of spreading the good news? 

We all are to build up the body, to grow the kingdom.

2 Corinthians 5:14
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.