I preached today. As I mentioned last night. My passage was Matthew 9:35 to 10:23. All about the harvest. I was very careful to to point out that I think the passage refers to a specific group of people being equipped for a specific time – the disciples were called to proclaim the kingdom of God to the nation of Israel. And they were given the ability to heal people and drive out demons – I pointed out that we don’t have that ability.
A helpful soul came up to me afterwards and quoted Mark 16 – which is contentious – because it comes with this disclaimer: “((The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.)) ”
Here’s the quote this helpful soul gave me while suggesting I had it all wrong and we could in fact heal sick people and drive out demons:
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Again, I’m pretty sure the passage in Mark 16 is directed at the disciples – and you’ll find that in verse 15, that I didn’t quote.
I thought very hard about saying something along the lines of – “well I don’t see you drinking poison and playing with snakes” – but that would not have been loving. So I didn’t. Instead, I blogged it.