Tag Archives: Mark

Snake Handling Pastor Dies from Snake Bite

I am honestly not surprised that this happened, but it is sad that there was a loss of life. It seems that Mark Wolford, went to the Lord in the same manner as his father, died from a snake bite that he was handling during a Pentecostal service.

I am not going to blame Pentecostals for this tragedy, as not all of them follow the practice of handling snakes. It is true that most Pentecostal believers look for an outward manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but I think most know that you do not want to pick up and demonstrate your God given power over the “serpent”.

These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and whatever poison they drink will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will be well.”
(Mar 16:17-18)

I could say something about believers need to pick and choose which verses they need to take literally, but then that argument is used against any practice that someone either wants to prohibit or enable.

I could say that there is evidence and thought that the last 12 verses of Mark were added at a later date and could very well not be the words of Jesus, but then if the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, does it matter? If it matters, does one begin discounting a part of or even the entire Bible?

I could say that common sense should tell people that you do not tempt God and should only be handling snakes when needed to and not as a demonstration of power to others.

Regardless of how someone takes it, this was a tragedy but hopefully the events that transpired did not change someone’s view as to if God was real or not.

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Hardness of Heart towards God

I have another one from Mark.  I have daily Bible readings on my phone through the YouVersion Bible app, so that is why they seem to go chapter by chapter at times.  It is a neat app and allows you to download many different translations so you can switch back and forth and get different perspectives on who they interpret the language and grammar.

Then he went up with them into the boat, and the wind ceased. They were completely astonished, because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.  (Mar 6:51-52)

This is from the story where Jesus feeds the 5,000 men.  I thought it was interesting, because in my prior readings, I have passed over the fact that His disciples’ hearts were hardened towards Jesus.  It is kind of a big thing really if you think about it and reading it has made me stop and wonder why.

At the beginning of the story, Jesus and the apostles were meeting after they just got back from going around and spreading the Gospel message of repent and turn towards God.  Then Jesus told them to go with Him to a private place, but as often happens, the people saw and followed.  Jesus decided to teach the people many things and at the end of the day, the disciples suggested that He send the people off to. Get food.  He said no way and made the food they had enough to feed everyone and there was a lot left over.  Then Jesus leaves and walks on water.  This is the synopsis of the Mark version of events.

Now at the beginning, Mark uses the term Apostles, which would refer to the 12, but then the word changes to disciples, so that would mean all that were following Jesus and calling Him teacher.  I think this was intentional, as I believe scripture is inspired and comes from God, but I suppose it could be an accident.

Anyways, when Jesus gets on to the boat, some of the disciples, if not all of them, had a hardness of heart.  This is also translated as stubbornness.  They did not understand what Jesus did with the bread in order to feed the masses and because of that, they put up a barrier between them and Jesus.  That happens a lot though doesn’t it?

How many people do you know have a hardness of heart or stubbornness towards god because they do not understand what He is doing?  I am not sure why we feel entitled to know, unless it is that issue of not wanting to let go of control of our lives, but many people are offended towards God because he does not choose to explain what He is doing to them.

It is frustrating when it happens to you, as when I do not see God moving the way I expect or even at all, I start to question if I did / doing is the right thing.  For me the thing to remember is to keep going back in prayer and not question if what I am doing is right, but I do pray for direction and peace.  It is a faith building process.

I have friends, who I try and tell this to, but not all of them are responsive.  It is nice to see the break through in thought that God is the one in control, but it is not learned or practiced overnight.  It is a good reminder that even those people who followed Jesus and walked with Him in the flesh has these same issues.

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