I have a hard time understanding Mark 16:17-18


‘Ask of the Lord and you will receive all, and in none of
your requests will you be denied which you make to the Lord without
doubting. But if you doubt in your heart, you will receive none of your
requests. For those who doubt regarding God are double-minded, and obtain
not one of their requests. But those who are perfect in faith ask
everything, trusting in the Lord; and they obtain, because they ask nothing
doubting, and not being double-minded. For every double-minded man, even
if he repent, will with difficulty be saved.’ - The Shepherd of Hermas


Thank you so much for this!


This section of the Gospel is referring to the Apostles who were granted the power to cast out demons and to heal and to do all these acts through the power of Jesus. Every diocese today is required to have at least one priest who is the official exorcist of the diocese (I’ve actually read some good books on this, I could recommend if you wanted).

However, while we who are believers are not Apostles or assuming we are not one of these official exorcist priests, we still have the power to do great things in our own ways!

“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.”” - Matthew 21:21

Come Holy Spirit, kind the hearts of your faithful and you will renew the face of the Earth,

  • Matt


[quote=“Rutherford2, post:1, topic:523051, full:true”]So perhaps there is another explanation for this?

No , Jesus said that those who believe in Him would have these charisms and plenty of His followers do .

I can’t see what the problem is .


In the literal sense, the apostles and their successors have done all these things. That’s why there are many stories of the saints performing these miracles through faith. Anything is actually possible to one who believes, however we really don’t believe that it can completely, that is why it doesn’t.

In the spiritual (the most important) real sense, treading on snakes, etc. refers to the devil who is called a great snake; the Lord says that he will trample the devil under the feet of the church; healing people with hands refers to the sacraments such as confirmation, anointing; drinking poison means being exposed to false teachings or gospels cannot harm the believer who is firm in faith; raising the dead means bringing them to spiritual life, etc.


So it is about how not what, “in my name”:

17 These signs will accompany those who believe:

in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. 18 They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”


It will be done for you according to your faith.


More to the point, it will happen if it needs to happen, and if it will be good for you and for others, and if it suits God.

Everybody knows that animals tend to get along with saintly people, and even with people who just like animals and care enough to get along with them. So not being hurt by snakes is the least of it; it is just a return to the natural way of things in Eden.

Healing people is also just an encouragement of what is normal – health.

The other stuff is a bit more advanced, going up towards what is truly superhuman. But since we are part of Christ’s Body, and Christ is true God as well as true man, we can potentially do superhuman things.

If you want Christlike powers, be like Christ as much as you can. And that means love and suffering, and following Him.


That is a little bit too supertitious dont you think.


Some passages in the Bible are taken literally, while others are taken figuratively. Protestants of course take the passages in John 6:51-57 symbolically, while Catholics take it to support Transubstantiation. Similarly, there have been bible believers who have taken the passages given by the OP literally.


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