Last week we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord, his victory over sin and death and his glorification and return to the Father. But there is so much more to the story. That was not the end of the story by any means.
It wasn’t— “Yay, Jesus is risen—let’s go to the buffet and feast in celebration of our promised salvation—then just go on with our lives, same ol’, same ol’. We’ll find out just what it all means when we die and go to heaven—we hope. Pass the deviled eggs please.”
They actually tried that, but Jesus was not done rocking their boats—literally, for some of them, as they had tried to go back to fishing—the story was far from over.
Their story was only just beginning. They were no longer to be hapless bystanders following Jesus around and marveling at his teachings and miracles. They were no longer just fishermen.
They were about to become his ambassadors and proxies, turning the world upside down, as they would soon be accused of doing. Taking on those who thought they had it all figured out already and sharing the truth of God’s love with those who thought they were far from worthy of hearing it.
But first Jesus has to get them away from the buffet table.
So he crashes their party and gives them a commission.
The empowerment to do the things Jesus speaks of here would come on the day of Pentecost, but on this day they, and we, received the marching orders.
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel . . . And these signs will accompany those who believe. . . .” Mark 16
Few people have any trouble accepting that the great commission applies to all of us as far as preaching the gospel to all nations is concerned, yet many struggle with the rest of it—the signs that would accompany those who believe.
Signs that include speaking in tongues, casting out demons, laying hands on the sick, protection from deadly venoms and poisons. This was not limited here by Jesus to the apostles, He says “Those who believe. ”Do you believe? —Then there you go. Expect Jesus to have your back, to work with you to confirm the word, and he will.
We see Jesus working mightily through and with the apostles and the early church again and again in the book of Acts. And the apostle Paul would confirm this in his letters to the churches, that the gifts and signs were not just for the Apostles.
“I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, . . .” 1 Corinthians 14:5
Why would Jesus send us out to share the gospel with the world, leave the sharing of the message that saves the souls of those he loves up to us to share, and not help us in that? He doesn’t. And why would we want to?
If Jesus isn’t working with me—His Holy Spirit going before me, speaking through me, and confirming his words in my mouth to the hearts that receive—then I am wasting my breath. But I know better. Because I have seen and experienced his power working through and for me too many times to remember, confirming truth whether in the responses to my words, answers to my prayers, healings and deliverances released, and lives changed.
The Lord works through and with all of who believe and take the commission seriously.
We have been commissioned, empowered and released to share the words of Jesus with the world. And we must continue to trust and pray for more and more of his Spirit to be released and revealed in this quickly darkening world.
I pray continually for the power and love of Jesus to be evidenced in our lives and our worship services.
To see more healings, hear more heart healing words of wisdom and strength, more encouraging and fearlessly honest words of prophetic truth spoken—for the glory of God, not the speakers. To see people delivered from oppression of all kinds—for the glory of God to be seen, felt and experienced in undeniable ways that make people fall to their knees in repentance and worship.
It’s time to part the seas and lead God’s children to freedom.