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Faith and Victory Church > Sermons > The Longer Ending Of Mark
The Longer Ending Of Mark

The Longer Ending Of Mark

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(Mark 16:9-20)                 *New Living Translation*

– Last week we read that Mary Magdalene had found the empty tomb, and spoke with an angel who told her to deliver this message to the disciples:

Mark 16:6-7, The angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”

– The resurrection is the most significant event in all of human history, foundational to our faith!

– Jesus’ death brought forgiveness of sin. His resurrection gives us new life, on earth and in heaven. We are ALIVE, because Jesus has conquered death!

– Today is the last sermon of the Book of Mark. We have talked about Jesus’ ministry, His death, burial, and resurrection. Now let’s talk about what happened next.

  1. What really happened next?

Mark 16:8, The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.

– That’s it! That is the end of what Mark wrote. This is a terrible ending! Then what happened?! This powerful story just ends with that?

Example: It’s like watching a movie, but then turning it off before the last 10 minutes. I hate it when a movie doesn’t resolve!

– Biblical Scholars predominately agree that verse 8 couldn’t possibly be the intentional end to the writing, and also that Mark DID NOT write the longer ending himself.

– In the ancient manuscripts, verse 8 ends with the literary equivalent of “because”. There has not been a single other writing found from this period that ends this way.

– The two theories for this are that either the final page was lost or damaged, or Mark was interrupted before finishing.

– Much of the vocabulary is totally different from the rest of the Gospel of Mark, and there are some awkward grammatical transitions between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9.

– The 2 oldest Greek manuscripts do not include these verses as the original text. However, nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.

There are 2 endings to the Gospel of Mark.

– Even though the authors are unknown, this is still the authentic word of the Lord.

– There are many early Christian writings that reference the content of the longer ending of Mark, dating back as far as 100AD. This is only about 40 years after Mark was written.

– The overwhelming majority of ancient manuscripts DO include these verses.

– Basically, every detail of these two endings matches up to multiple scriptures included in the other gospel writings and can be found throughout the Bible.

– We don’t question the validity of Psalms or Hebrews, so why would we question the end of Mark?

– David only wrote about half of the Psalms. The other various authors are unknown to us.

– Psalms includes several prophecies about the coming Messiah and is quoted more than 75 different times in the New Testament.

Hebrews was more of a sermon than a letter, but circulated around with Paul’s letters to the churches. Many assumed that it was written by the Apostle Paul, but it wasn’t.

– It wasn’t until Martin Luther, in the 1500s, that it is was suggested Apollos may have written Hebrews, but the author still cannot be positively identified.

– Regardless of who may have written these scriptures, they are the uncontested Word of God!

1 Tim 3:16-17, 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

– Mark may not have written these verses, but God did, and they have been passed down to us along with the rest of the Bible.

– This is the shorter ending of Mark: (Read the shorter ending now)

– Short, sweet, and to the point. Biblically solid and matches all other scripture on the subject.

– Some manuscripts include this ending, but most do not, favoring the longer ending.

– Today we are talking about the longer ending of Mark, and the truths contained within it.

  2. Mary’s message was met with disbelief. Read Mark 16:9-14

– Just like Mary didn’t expect the resurrection when she probably should have, we see the same thing in the reaction of the disciples.

– Almost everyone doubted this “unbelievable news” until Jesus appeared to them in the flesh.

– I know what it’s like to know the miracles of God, but not be ready for it to happen in front of you.

Example: Leah’s story. In the outskirts of town, 91 yrs old, trouble walking, can’t make it to church. Unplanned ministry visit, she didn’t know we were coming, and neither did we.

– She speaks Kikuyo, Kevin translates as Leah begins crying and quoting her anchor verses from Matthew Ch. 25, For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink… I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me…”

– Also Aaron’s anchor verses that are the foundation of his ministry, and what led us to Kenya. Leah said that she knew he was going to say that.

– She had a vision a couple weeks, 2 muzungu would come to her and bring her comfort.

– Moved by the Spirit, Aaron knelt down and washes Leah’s feet and legs.

– We left stunned, mind spinning, We had left and forgot to even give her our names!

– It was an amazing confirmation of God’s promises for her and for us!

– Aaron and the team visited Leah this year, and she is up and walking around fine.

– Thomas was one of the disciples who needed more convincing. “He had to see it to believe it.”

– Read John 20:24-29

– BE someone who believes the miraculous things of God, even without seeing.

Hebrews 11:1, Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

– You can see the evidence of the resurrection in the Bible and in the changed lives of the believers around you. Paul describes these things as “the mysteries of God” for a reason.

– “The opposite of faith is when you have it all figured out.” – Andy Mineo

– God can do amazing things in your life if you would just take Him at His word.

Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

  1. Jesus has final words for his disciples: Read Mark 16:15-19

– Many times, in the Book of Acts we see demons cast out, speaking in tongues, the sick healed by the laying on of hands, and even the dead are raised. (These are still present in the world today!)

– This is the only place in scripture that talks about believers holding snakes or drinking poison, and “WE DON’T SKIP VERSES”, so let’s talk about this.

 – Snakes and Poison: The temptation here is to call this proclamation only a metaphor, and say that Jesus was referring the religious leaders and false prophets as snakes or vipers, and that they have poison on their lips, etc… but we can’t do that!

– Nothing else that Jesus says here is a metaphor. It all has to be taken literally.

– In Acts 28, Paul is bitten on the hand by a poisonous snake and doesn’t die.

Luke 10:19, (Jesus says) “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”

– There are occurrences in ecclesiastical history where people were forced to drink poison as a form of persecution. This reassurance from the Lord would be comforting in these times.

– The modern-day snake handling movement of the last 100 years built their belief system around a concept mentioned only once in the bible. Theology should never be built this way.

– If they were right, they would have been protected from snake bites, but every one of the movements founders/leaders has died from a snake bite.

1 Corinthians 10:9, Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites.

– These signs HAVE accompanied many believers, but clearly the goal isn’t to test the boundaries of the protection that God is providing for you.

  1. GO and PREACH!

Mark 16:20, And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.

– “GO into all the world…”

– Example: Cambodia, preached, served, prayed with the Chief, encouraged missionaries…

– You may ask, “Couldn’t someone else who was local do all that?” Answer: Yes.

– What if Peter had said that though? “But God, I like my ministry here in Jerusalem. Why can’t I just stay here? Looks like that new guy Paul has the rest of the world covered already.”

– Ask Pastor Kevin what it’s like to leave your homeland a sinner, then return there 20 years later as a Pastor, and preach the Good News to your own people, in your own language.

Qmissions just returned from Kenya this week. Ask them about what Jesus is doing there.

– You GO where you are SENT. #SendMe

– Romans 10:13-15, 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

– “…PREACH the Good News to everyone.”

Example: Thad selling popcorn for Cub Scouts at Walmart, not afraid to ask everyone! I was surprised at who were the ones that responded to his request.

– You never know who is ready to receive the word, or where you may plant a seed.

– What if someone hadn’t told you of the Good News? Where would you be today?

– This is the Good News:

2 Cor. 5:21, For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

1 Timothy 1:15, This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.

Acts 2:38, Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

– Not every miraculous sign happened for every believer, but none of them will happen in YOU if you don’t open yourself up to them.

Action always follows belief in the Bible. If you believe something that is “life changing”, then it should change your life!

– Stop doubting and start believing! You have the word of God, the life story of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit inside you. What more do you need?


– alter call

– prayer –

Spread the Gospel!

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