He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news 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 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.”
~Mark 16:15-18 (NIV)
This passage is NOT about drinking poison and being bitten by snakes. It’s not even about miracles. This passage is about Jesus’ plan to reach the world: us. That’s it? That’s Jesus’ great strategy? The God of the universe came to earth, conquered death and Hell, then left the rest of the mission in the hands of defective people?!?! What?!?!
It’s sobering to think that the Bible never tells us about Jesus’ alternative plan. He takes a great risk by placing so much responsibility on our shoulders. It’s like asking a five year old to responsibly manage the family budget.
While it’s bewildering to think that this is Jesus’ great plan of action, it’s also very honoring. The same God of the universe who conquered death and Hell trusts us enough to give us the great responsibility of reaching the world. The fact that there’s no “Plan B” is no laughing matter, but it should inspire us because it’s proof that God believes in us.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why small groups should care about being on mission!