Read: Mark 16 & Luke 1
“These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” (Mark 16:17-18, NLT)
I’m not sure how you feel about these words here at the end of Mark 16, but I happen to believe that Jesus said them—and that he meant them. Jesus wanted us to fully understand that he expected the very same miraculous signs that authenticated his authority to attend the witness of his followers, validating their testimony as well—not only in the first century, but in the twenty-first century.
Now some Bible scholars believe that this section of verses (Mark 16: 9-20) was not in Mark’s original document. The reason is that these verses are not found in the earliest and best Greek manuscripts of this Gospel. Their thought is that well-intentioned church leaders added to Mark’s words a couple of centuries later, and therefore no doctrines should be built upon these verses. However, scholars who doubt the authenticity of verses 9-20 will invariably add that since what these verses say is affirmed elsewhere in Scripture, we should not completely disregard their content.
So back to my point: If Scripture promises supernatural power for Christ-followers, then miraculous signs should be accompanying believers today! Now don’t get hung up on the individual signs. I am not proposing that we become snake-handlers (although tossing a rattler into the congregation would certainly pep up a lot of church services and likely boost attendance, at least for a while). Nor am I proposing that a rat poison smoothie be added to the menu at your church’s coffee bar. I remember Jesus saying that we’re not to foolishly test the Lord our God. We probably ought to keep that in mind!
But I am saying that we ought to be expecting, and experiencing miracles in our midst today. And in many places around the world, miraculous signs are following Christians, even as we speak—usually in areas where people are desperate for God and believers are depending on his intervention just to stay alive. Yes, miraculous signs are accompanying those who believe…today…in the twenty-first century…right here on Planet Earth!
Since miracles are part and parcel of the Kingdom of God, since they are promised to believers, since they are taking place in the world today, then I think it is reasonable that we should desire them here in America, in your church and mine, and in your life and mine as well. I may be crazy, but until God shows me otherwise, I am going to keep asking for them. Not that I want them as some sort of crowd-boosting, attention-getting gimmick, I simply want them as an authentication of the kingdom, power and glory of God revealed among his people before a watching world!
I think it’s only fair, since Jesus promised them.
“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” ~C.S. Lewis
What If God Took Over
If you agree, then join me in asking Jesus to restore Kingdom authority and supernatural power to his people, to your church and its leaders, and to your life—sooner rather than later.