The Disciples (People like us) Commissioned.

We usually look at the “Great Commission” by going to the book of Matthew, Chapter 28, verses 16-20.

Today I thought it might be worth looking at it from the details given in the book of Mark, Chapter 16, verses 9-20.

After Jesus was resurrected His disciples could not at first believe it. At the end of verse 8 in the book of Mark , chapter 16, we find the disciples in disarray and fearful, but this is not the end of the message. This would not be good news!

Jesus was triumphant and the gospel does not end with His disciples in fear, it continues with the disciples courageously taking the goo d news to the ends of the known world! We can see this in Mark 16: verses 9 to 20.

Mar 16:9 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

Jesus Appears to Two Disciples

12 After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

The Great Commission

14 Afterwards he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and i sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed kthe message by accompanying signs.

This is the true conclusion of the book of Luke, as Jesus tells the disciples what authority He has bestowed on them and reiterates some of the signs that will follow them.

Now some early manuscripts have been doctored by the copyists and they have expurgated Mark, Chapter 16, verse 9-20.

While we are considering these signs I should point out these things…

  1. These signs are to be read in conjunction with the rest of the gospels.

  2. Jesus does not give His disciples leave to live risky lifestyles!

  3. Just as we don’t attempt to walk on water when there is no need, we do not attempt to pick up poisonous snakes for a dare!

  4. Jesus expects us to preach the gospel with accompanying sign of healing!

It should also be noted that there is built into these verses in the original Greek a heptadic structure that would be almost impossible to reproduce without many years of trial and error! The discovery of this structure we owe to Ivan Panin.

For instance…

  1. The number of words is divisible by seven.

  2. The number of letters is divisible by seven.

  3. The number of consonants is divisible by seven.

  4. The number of vowels, naturally, is divisible by seven.

  5. The number of nouns is divisible by seven.

  6. The number of non-nouns is divisible by seven.

  7. Every Greek letter has a numerical value. The sum of the numerial
    values of all the letters in verses 9-20 adds up to a multiple of seven!

There are the same heptadic structures in this passage even if you divide it into three parts in the two logical ways that this can be done. In each case the heptadic structure (in the original Greek) is complete within each section!

To consider that a monk who did not like the abrupt ending of Mark at Chapter 16, verse 8 decided one wet Thursday afternoon to pen a suitable ending with this precision in the Greek language is patently absurd!

This ending also matches with the info Jesus gives us elsewhere regarding the commission to His disciples. We see also in the book of Acts how the signs that Jesus promised would accompany His followers pan out in practise.

Act 28:3-5 When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.

Notice that Paul did not “play” with snakes and tempt God, but quite by accident Paul is bitten by a viper and just as Jesus said, “It did not harm him!”

God loves us and has prepared blessings for us and as followers of Jesus we should have the faith to walk in ALL of God's promises.

Best wishes for grace and the peace of Jesus.


How Should Christians Pray? Click Here.
Paul's Thorn In The Flesh. Click Here.
It's In The Spirit Click Here.
Speak The Oracles Of God. Click Here.
God's Sovereignty and Our Healing. Click Here.

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