Mark 16:17-18 (KJV)
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Have you ever wondered Why it is so important for signs and wonders to follow the witness of the church to Jesus ? Over the next few days, we shall be looking at why we truly need signs and wonders to follow us as believers today .
2000 years ago when Jesus made this statement above to his disciples , the incoming church was about to be born into a hostile environment . Jerusalem where the launch would begin was notorious for killing prophets and God sent ones:
Luke 13:34 (KJV)
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Jerusalem had a reputation as a place where angels fear to tread; Many prophets had been stoned to death there and eventually, Christ who lamented over the city of Jerusalem for its notoriety was also crucified at its outskirts. One of his disciples (judas Iscariot ) who betrayed Him and turned Him over to the religious leaders of the city who had been on His heels all along his campaign also died by hanging himself . Judas had no clue how terrible and slippery the religious politics and the terrain was !
53 days after the messiah rose triumphantly from the grave and ascended up on high ,the Holy Spirit came upon his disciples in the upper room of a building at Jerusalem for them to begin their witness to Him ; it was the same terrain where their master was killed that they would step out and witness to Him;Jerusalem had not repented from it’s hostility to prophets sent by God, Pilate who sentenced Jesus to death by cruxifiction was still there; the religious leaders who gave Him ( Jesus Christ ) up to the Roman authorities were still much around; the soldiers who carried out the crucifixion order at Golgotha were still in their barracks ;the terrain was difficult to preach the Message of His resurrection.
Surely, signs and wonders backing their claims of Him became inevitable .
Religious hostility , hardness of the hearts of men to the gospel is one of the reasons why we need signs and wonders to follow our claims in a tangible way today