Scripture reading for October 20th: Mark 14-16
Mark’s Gospel tells of Jesus Christ serving, healing, casting out demons, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to His own people. Jesus particularly sought out those who were lost and willing to listen. He gathered disciples who would be willing to leave all, follow Him and learn His character and His ways. He is shown teaching them and then sending them out to practice what He had taught. He would evaluate their work and encourage them as well as rebuking them when necessary. It is a Gospel of action: God in Jesus Christ acting to bring salvation to those who would receive it.
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” …”Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it.” Mark 16:15-18, 20.
This Gospel’s closing words are a call to Jesus’ followers to continue the action of God. Jesus Christ had taught His followers all that was needed. They were to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit who would give them the power that was needed to be His witnesses. (Acts 1:8) Then they were to go and preach. No one can hear and have faith for salvation without someone preaching the Word to them! As they preached, they were to act under the authority of the name of Jesus Christ. In His name supernatural signs would accompany the going and the preaching of the Word. Demons would be cast out, sick people would be healed. People would be baptized in the Holy Spirit and would speak with new tongues. The disciples would have supernatural protection as well from attacks of venomous snakes or people trying to poison them. These promises were made to all who would obey the Word of God!
It is interesting to note that these first disciples obeyed and went their way, preaching the Gospel and praying for the sick and demon possessed. Jesus Christ worked with them and signs followed their ministry. The truth highlighted here is that if you are seeking miracles, signs and wonders, the best place to find them is when you obey God’s command to go and preach! Are you willing to act in faith and experience the supernatural following your preaching and prayer? What is holding you back? Are they able to follow you?