Mark 16:17, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues.”
When God chose Moses to be His representative He gave him miraculous signs to verify the message (Exodus 4:1-17). The same is true when Jesus spoke to his disciples to go and preach the gospel to all people; he promised to provide them with signs to display God’s power.
God loves to use signs to confirm His Word and though wicked people may demand them, they are not there for them but for the honest seeker.
A sign is an “indication or proof of God’s power.” God told the prophet Joel that in the last days He would pour out His Spirit and would, “show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below” (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.” We need to be faithful to God and let His signs come through us to the lost like Paul did in His preaching of the gospel.
The signs Jesus promised from our passage today are; (1) Casting out demons, (2) Speaking in new tongues, (3) Invincibility and (4) Healing of the sick. Mark 16:15-20 then ends with these encouraging words, “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it.”
It’s clear that when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to baptize the disciples in power, with the evidence of speaking in unlearned languages, it was for the purpose of spreading the gospel with signs following (Acts 1:8). Certainly, people with wicked hearts demand signs to believe like with Jesus in Matthew 16:4, however, these signs are not for them, they are for the genuine seeker to see God is both powerful and personal.
Lester Sumrall wrote, “The gifts of the Spirit are the weapons God gives us to fight and win our battles. We must never underestimate their strength, their power, and their usefulness.” Therefore, every disciple should expect the signs Jesus mentioned in Mark 16 and the spiritual gifts Paul described in 1 Corinthians 12-14 to follow them as they preach the gospel!
Have you ever witnessed one of God’s signs?
- Describe a time you saw someone healed, speak in new tongues, be invincible or cast out demons.
- Don’t seek the signs first; seek the sign giver- Jesus Christ.
- Next time you preach the gospel ask God to display His power for all to see!