Mark 16:17, “And these signs will accompany those who believe…”
When God chose Moses to be His representative, He gave him miraculous signs to verify the message to both God’s people and Pharaoh (Exodus 4:1-31). The same is true in today’s passage when Jesus spoke to his disciples to go and preach the gospel to all people because He promised to provide them with signs to display God’s power.
A sign is an “indication of God’s power.” Though God doesn’t owe anyone a proof of His power; He uses signs for people to know His mighty hand still moves across the earth.
God told the prophet Joel that in the last days He would pour out His Spirit to, “show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below.” These are the very words Peter preached on Pentecost in Acts 2:19. Also, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, “4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” The New Covenant message of the gospel was never meant to be preached without the miraculous power of God. Jesus initiated the New Covenant with signs and wonders, and He promised to sustain the church until the end of the age with signs following His disciples.
Here are the four main signs that Jesus said in Mark 16:17-18 would follow His Spirit-baptized disciples; (1) Casting out demons, (2) Speaking in new tongues, (3) Invincibility and (4) Healing of the sick. The passage then ends with these encouraging words in Mark 16:20, “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
Lester Sumrall said, “For us to be the kind of people God wants in these trying times, we must have the gifts of the Spirit. It is imperative that we be qualified spiritually— that we know about spiritual gifts, understand them, and be able to use them wisely as the Lord wills.” Certainly, people with wicked hearts demand signs to believe (Matthew 16:4), but these signs are not for them, they are for the genuine seeker to experience God in a powerful and personal way. Therefore, every disciple should seek the spiritual gifts and ask that God would grant them signs as they preach the gospel!
- Describe a time you saw someone healed, speak in new tongues, be invincible or cast out demons.
- Ask God to use in the signs of the gospel.
- Next time you preach the gospel, ask God to display His power for all to see!