Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Questions About Biblical Miracles (Part 1): Does Mark 16:17-18 indicate that miraculous gifts are for all baptized believers?

The first consideration is the historical context of this statement. Even if these miraculous abilities were promised to everyone who believes, they were imparted through the apostles’ hands (Acts 8:18) and were limited to the first-century church (1 Cor. 13:8-13). Moreover, no Christian possessed all the spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28-30) except maybe the specially-chosen apostles (cf. Matt. 10:1; 2 Cor. 12:12). But when the entire context of this passage is considered, it doesn’t necessarily say what many have assumed. 

Notice in Mark 16:10-20 the frequent use of plural pronouns (“those,” “they,” “them,” “their”) in reference to the apostles. They did not believe and Jesus rebuked their unbelief. In giving the Great Commission (vv. 15-16) Jesus changed to the singular pronoun “he” to refer to the recipient of the gospel, but then changed back to the plural in referring to the unbelieving apostles. Christ promised the apostles that if they believed, miraculous signs would follow them (cf. Matt. 17:20). The last two verses of Mark 16 show that this promise was fulfilled in them: “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through accompanying signs. Amen” (emp. added; cf. Acts 1:1-8; 2:4-8, 43; 3:1-8; 5:12; 16:16-18; 28:3-9; et al.).

-- Kevin L. Moore

*Originally appearing in The Exhorter (April-June 1998).

Related articles

Image credit: Adapted from

No comments:

Post a Comment