You Forgot A Few Things, Dummy: The So-Called "Long Ending"
Get ready for some more fun with manuscripts. Another group of manuscripts include the so-called "Long Ending" of Mark (16:9-20). In most of them it follows directly after 16:8, while in a few it follows the "Short Ending."
The odds are that someone was not satisfied with the empty tomb or the failure of the scared women in 16:8 and took the initiative to round Mark out by adding stories of Jesus's appearance. This is more in keeping with the endings of the other three New Testament gospels, too.
Rising early on the first day of the week, Jesus appears first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast seven demonic spirits.
Mary informs Jesus's disciples who were mourning his death, but they don't believe that she saw him alive.
Then Jesus appears to two people walking in the country, but in another form.
These two also report their sighting to the disciples, who don't believe them either. Does this remind anyone else of Elvis?
Finally, Jesus appears to the eleven disciples (remember, Judas isn't around) while they're eating.
He rebukes their lack of faith. Not much has changed, eh? These disciples still get F's.
Jesus orders them to proclaim the good news to all of creation in the whole world—a very tall order.
Jesus adds that salvation belongs to baptized believers, and condemnation to non-believers. Okay, this is getting serious.
He promises that believers will perform miracles in his name, such as exorcizing demons, speaking in new languages, or picking up snakes with their bare hands.
These people will also be unharmed if they drink poison. Whoa.
They will even cure the sick by laying their hands upon them.
After saying these things to the disciples, Jesus ascends to heaven, where he takes a pretty powerful seat right next to none other than God.
The disciples go forth as they are ordered and finally start to raise their grades to A's. After all, the Lord has given them a little help and proves that what they say is right by the miracles that they perform.