|stempublishing.com : J. N. Darby : Synopsis : Mark : Chapter 16|
The resurrection: the connection re-established between Jesus and the remnant
The last chapter is divided into two parts -- a fact that has even given rise to questions as to the authenticity of verses 9-20. The first part of the chapter, verses 1-8, relates the end of the history in connection with the re-establishment of that which has always been before us in this Gospel -- the relationship of the Prophet of Israel, and of the kingdom with the people (or at least with the remnant of the chosen people). The disciples, and Peter, whom the Lord individually acknowledges in spite (yea, in grace, because) of his denial of his Master, were to go and meet Him in Galilee, as He said unto them. There the connection was re-established between Jesus in resurrection and the poor of the flock, who waited for Him (they alone being recognised as the people before God). The women say nothing to any others. The testimony of Christ risen was committed only to His disciples, to these despised Galileans. Fear was the means employed by the providence of God to prevent the women speaking of it, as they would naturally have done.
The message sent by Mary Magdalene; the disciples' commission to every creature
Verses 9-20. This is another testimony. The disciples do not appear here as an elect remnant, but in the unbelief natural to man. The message is sent to the whole world. Mary Magdalene, formerly possessed by seven demons the absolute slave of that dreadful power -- is employed to communicate the knowledge of His resurrection to the companions of Jesus. Afterwards Jesus Himself appears to them, and gives them their commission. He tells them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. It is no longer specifically the gospel of the kingdom. Whosoever throughout the world believed and joined Christ by baptism should be saved: he who believed not should be condemned. It was a question of salvation or condemnation -- the believer saved, he who refused the message condemned. Moreover, if any one was convinced of the truth but refused to unite with the disciples confessing the Lord, his case would be so much the worse. Therefore it is said, "he who believeth and is baptised." Signs of power should accompany believers, and they should be preserved from that of the enemy.