Numbers 19:1-22; Mark 16:9-20; Psalms 56:10-13; Proverbs 15:31-32
NT: “Then he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes; if they should drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” So the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word by the accompanying signs.” (Mark 16:15-20 CSB)
In Matthew’s gospel, the emphasis of the Great Commission was making disciples. Here in Mark, the emphasis is on preaching the gospel. Both are part of the commission we have been given and both are important. We cannot just preach the gospel and forsake making disciples, and we cannot make disciples without first preaching the gospel. Souls saved and disciples made is our commission. As we go, Jesus has committed to be with us, and signs will accompany those who believe. Just as God worked signs through Moses to prove that Moses’ words were true, signs will accompany the faith-filled preaching of the gospel to validate its claims. The main reason that Jesus can be with us as we go, and that signs can accompany us is that Jesus didn’t stay here on earth. He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, to intercede for us, and to send us His Holy Spirit to be in us and empower us for all He has called us to do. This is the full gospel: That Jesus died in our place, paid our debt, freed us from sin, defeated death and rose to life, makes us new creations with His resurrection life, ascended to heaven to intercede for us, and fills us with His Holy Spirit so that we may live the holy and empowered life that He lived and lead others to lead the life He lived as well. That is what we are to preach to all creation.
Psalms: “In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere humans do to me? I am obligated by vows to you, God; I will make my thanksgiving sacrifices to you. For you rescued me from death, even my feet from stumbling, to walk before God in the light of life.” (Psalms 56:10-13 CSB)
Jesus paid a debt that we could never hope to repay. Because I have accepted His gift of salvation, I am no longer in debt to sin, but I am eternally indebted to Jesus. I am no longer mine, but His. Just as David was obligated to God, I am indebted to Christ. My fear of the Lord overcomes any fear of danger or fear of man – or at least that is the way it should be. If I belong to Him, then what should I fear… and why should I listen to any voice that would try to lure me into faithlessness and disobedience? So I will praise the Lord, proclaim His gospel, and trust completely in Him.