Great Commission (Mark 16:14-20)

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The Great Commission is the final moment of Mark before Jesus leaves His disciples ascending to the right side of God. 

The discourse starts with reproaching the disciples' faith because they did not believe the witnesses who sow risen Jesus (Mark 16:14). Only after the reproach, he sends them to the world to share the message of the Gospel.

In verse Mark 16:16 the author adds a very intriguing condition for the salvation: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (ὁ πιστεύσας καὶ βαπτισθεὶς σωθήσεται, ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας κατακριθήσεται).

Interestingly, Mark's account highlights the role of "signs" (σημεῖα [semeia]) that are to accompany those who will believe as a confirmation of the Gospel message (Mark 16:17-20).


Word Meaning
ἐκβάλλω throw out, drive out
γλῶσσα, ης, ἡ tongue
λαλέω sound; talk
καινός, ή, όν new
χείρ, χειρός, ἡ hand
ὄφις, εως, ὁ snake
αἴρω take up; remove
θανάσιμος, ον deadly
τὶς, τί who, which, what

Biblical text

16:14Ὕστερον δὲ ἀνακειμένοις αὐτοῖς τοῖς ἕνδεκα ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ὠνείδισεν τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν καὶ σκληροκαρδίαν ὅτι τοῖς θεασαμένοις αὐτὸν ἐγηγερμένον οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν.15καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἅπαντα κηρύξατε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον πάσῃ τῇ κτίσει.16 πιστεύσας καὶ βαπτισθεὶς σωθήσεται, δὲ ἀπιστήσας κατακριθήσεται.17σημεῖα δὲ τοῖς πιστεύσασιν ταῦτα παρακολουθήσει, ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου δαιμόνια ἐκβαλοῦσιν, γλώσσαις λαλήσουσιν καιναῖς,18ὄφεις ἀροῦσιν κἂν θανάσιμόν τι πίωσιν οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ, ἐπὶ ἀρρώστους χεῖρας ἐπιθήσουσιν καὶ καλῶς ἕξουσιν.19 μὲν οὖν Κύριος Ἰησοῦς μετὰ τὸ λαλῆσαι αὐτοῖς ἀνελήμφθη εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ.20ἐκεῖνοι δὲ ἐξελθόντες ἐκήρυξαν πανταχοῦ, τοῦ Κυρίου συνεργοῦντος καὶ τὸν λόγον βεβαιοῦντος διὰ τῶν ἐπακολουθούντων σημείων.]]