Mark 16 Lesson

Jesus Loves Us Even When We Struggle With Our Faith

Chapter sixteen documents the foundation of Christianity.   The risen Christ!

For today’s lesson, we will explore two questions:

  1. Why did those closest to Jesus not believe it was Him when He rose from the grave?
  2. What is, “The sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation,” that Mark ends his Gospel with?

WHY DID THOSE CLOSEST TO JESUS NOT BELIEVE IT WAS HIM WHEN HE ROSE FROM THE GRAVE?

Do you ever struggle with your faith?   We all do from time to time.   One of the remarkable things about the Bible is the perspective that it provides.   In the closing chapter of Mark, we see that even those closest to Jesus struggled with their faith.   Jesus appeared to them, just as He said He would, but they did not believe.   Consider these two passages:

  1. “Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.  She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping.  When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.”Mark 16:9-11.
  2. “After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country.  They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.”Mark 16:12-13.

How did they not believe?

With all the things they saw Jesus do and heard Him speak, how did they find it so difficult to believe that He had risen, just as He told them that He would?

We may never understand the answer to that question.   We cannot put ourselves in the position of the Apostles that had experienced so much.   What we can understand is that our faith is delicate.   It needs to be nurtured and cared for.   If those closest to Jesus fell into unbelief, so can we!

It is critical to our salvation that we stay in God’s Word!   The Apostle Paul tells us that regular Bible study is how we grow our faith.

  • “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17.

The takeaway for us is to understand just how fragile our faith is. Satan is a worthy opponent!   He would love nothing more than for us to turn away from our faith and get caught up in sin.   As Christians, we cannot allow that to happen.

Why?

Because God has plans for us!  Just as Jesus sent His disciples out on a mission, we too have a job to do.  We have a part to play in God's magnificent plan!!!

This brings us to the second part of today’s lesson.

WHAT IS, “THE SACRED AND IMPERISHABLE PROCLAMATION OF ETERNAL SALVATION,” THAT MARK ENDS HIS GOSPEL WITH?

After Jesus appeared to His disciples and rebuked them for their hardness of heart and unbelief.

Then he put them to work!

Jesus said to His disciples:

  • “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15.

Later in Mark 16, we read:

  • “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” – Mark 16:20.

In the final verse of Mark’s Gospel, he talks about, “The sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.”

To fully understand the meaning of this scripture, we will break it down into smaller pieces.

  • SACRED:   Something sacred is holy, worthy of awe and respect.
  • IMPERISHABLE:    Enduring forever.
  • PROCLAMATION:    A public or official announcement, especially one dealing with a matter of great importance.

When Jesus’ disciples did not believe He had risen, Jesus loved them anyway.

In the same way, when we have a setback of our own, Jesus continues to love us.

That is worth repeating.

WHEN WE HAVE A SETBACK, JESUS CONTINUES TO LOVE US! 

Notice how Jesus had a purpose for them even when they struggled in their faith. Jesus believed in them despite their setbacks. What a loving and forgiving Savior we have!

CONCLUSION

The promise of eternal salvation is the single greatest reason to have hope in a world full of sin and strife.  

  • When our faith is shaken, God’s promises are steadfast.

  • When we are weak, He is strong.

When we struggle with our faith, we must persevere and believe that better days are ahead.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture from the prophet Jeremiah:

  • “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13.

Comments

Dan Wheeler

A focus on the Great Commiission is a great way to end this discussion. Action is so powerful to our faith. Putting our beliefs into action will actually strengthen our belief--it's a wonderful cycle. Without that action our faith cannot come full circle.

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John
Dan Wheeler

Amen!

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James A Guillory

A very good question and some very wonderful insights!!

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Jmack3388

Isaiah 55:8-9 is a powerful scripture. I heard a Christian comedian (apparently that's a thing!) reference that scripture, and say how he didn't want a God that he completely understood. We are so limited. He talked about how he always loses his car keys, and can't remember where the remote control is, etc. Our God is superior to us in every way, as it should be. We don't need to know, "Why" He does things, we just need to submit to His will and follow Him.

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