The background for the text of Mark 16:15-20 is set within the context of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and His final instructions to His disciples before His ascension. The events described in this passage take place after Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
Mark’s Gospel is traditionally attributed to John Mark, a companion of the apostle Peter. The intended audience for Mark’s Gospel was likely a community of Christian believers, possibly located in Rome or a predominantly Gentile region. Mark’s Gospel emphasizes Jesus’ ministry and teachings, presenting Him as the Son of God and the Messiah.
In Mark 16:15-20, the remarks of Jesus are directed specifically to His disciples, who were eyewitnesses to His resurrection. Jesus commissions them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. His intention was for His disciples to spread the message of salvation and the kingdom of God to people from all backgrounds and nations.
Mark’s intended audience, the early Christian community, would have received these remarks as instructions and encouragement for their own mission and proclamation of the gospel. The passage conveys the importance of faith, baptism, and the signs that would accompany believers as they carried out their mission.
Overall, Mark presents these words of Jesus as a call to evangelize and make disciples, conveying the universal nature of the gospel message and the authority given to the disciples to carry out this mission.