Picking up or handling serpents, what is the meaning of this passage?
I think just an example of the fearlessness of His disciples. It is not a specific requirement of a true disciple, yet an example that His true disciples will be confirmed by signs of supernatural nature.
Maybe He is even referring to Paul who was bitten by the viper, recorded in Acts 28
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Mark 16-17-18 RSV Catholic Edition
In the Early Church, the apostles did all of these things. The book of Acts mentions all of them. These signs were used to lead unbelievers to embrace the gospel, and to affirm the faith of those who already believed.
If this is accurate, why dont we see more people that have supernatural abilities in modern times? Or really ANY for that matter…the times someone does claim to have a certain ability, they are either debunked or considered crazy and no one pays any attention to them.
Is it possible, maybe we should be paying more attention to people claiming to have supernatural abilities?
If you are looking for signs, then search away…:shrug:
Disciples were more often accompanied with miraculous signs in order to Confirm the genuine. There are so many signs available now it is blinding!!! To search the history of the Deposit of Faith is to witness God’s amazing work to bring the gospel message to all.
I believe that at a certain point, the “signs” begin to take away from the genuine faith. Jesus told Thomas, “you believe because you have seen, blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.”