Hey Cameron,

Hope all is well.  Sounds like everything is moving along tickety boo.  One of the challenges in the last segment of Mark is that neither the terms, grammatical structure, literary form or atmosphere tell you much.Atmosphere – In light of the preceding segment of 14:53 – 15:47 and its incredible overtone of suffering, pain, anguish, etc., the final segment is incredibly positive – thus its difficult to use atmosphere as any sort of indicator of what the author is saying.Literary form – The literary form is mainly narrative with a few didactive thoughts within a paragraph , so that we might have our attention somewhat drawn to what Jesus is saying – After all, He has just risen from the grave.  Nevertheless, for the most part, it is a narrative segment.

Terms – There isn’t much that needs to be defined.  Everything is pretty clear and straightforward.  The material dealing with snakes and poison seems to simply be the promise of Divine protection in the context of promised supernatural ministry – outside of that nothing really jumps out at us. 

Structure – There isn’t really any huge grammatical structure outside of the contrast in verse seven that dominates the paragraph – so that is definitely going to require some observation.  However, the last paragraph begins with a causation which means that anything from the first paragraph to the first four paragraphs is the cause(LiteraryStructure).  THAT is reason for excitement.  If all of the paragraphs from 16:1 to 16:18 are the cause and their affect is the disciples of Jesus going out and being involved in supernatural ministry, then we want to pay close attention to the cause and see if there might be any instruction to heed such as the fact that the young man notes that they were ‘doing nothing’ and Jesus rebukes them at a time when they were doing nothing.  It seems that Jesus wanted them to be involved in supernatural ministry but they were disobedient by not doing what Jesus had already told them. 

The question might be asked, “Does disobedience impede the Lord from working mightily and supernaturally in my life?”  A better question might be, “What was the reason, according to the text, that the disciples were being disobedient?”  We know the reason they were disobedient was their hard hearts, and we know their hearts were hard because of disbelief.  The best question may simply be, “Does disbelief impede the Lord from working mightily and supernaturally in my life?’  That’s a question we can answer.  Disbelief definitely kept the disciples from supernatural ministry.  Once they believed…. you have the final result in 16:19-20.What if the entire reason that we struggle to see God move in the church is disbelief… What would that look like according to Mark 16? If you ask them that, I think they will have something to chew on for the week.

Blessings, Leep