“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:… they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.’”
Mark 16: 15 - 18, NIV, abridged, emphasis added

Extra reading: Mark 6: 7 - 13, Luke 10: 1 - 4

So we’ve jumped from early in in Jesus’ ministry with yesterday’s passage, to His ascension with today’s reading. But, as you can see if you’ve had a look at the extra readings, throughout Jesus ministry He encouraged His disciples to perform the ministry the He was doing. And today’s passage goes even beyond that. Not only could the original followers who Jesus sent out heal people in His name, but now everyone who hears the gospel becomes part of a group called “those who believe.” And certain signs accompany “those who believe.” Specifically: “they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

The laying on of hands is not just a good idea. For those who have put their faith in Jesus it is literally proof of that faith. If someone claims to be a believer but forsakes this practice, I start to doubt whether they actually do believe.

Our good Heavenly Father always wants to heal. Sometimes He does it suddenly. Sometimes He does it gradually. Often it is accompanied by some counselling, but it is always the right thing for the children of God to exercise faith in their good Heavenly Father by practising the laying on of hands as an expression of agreeing with our Father’s good will.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me. Thank you that the good news was preached to me and that I have been adopted into your family. Today I commit myself again to Your ways: specifically the laying on of hands for healing. Thank you in advance for the opportunities that you are going to send me to so that I can bring your healing.

Would you like to do this devotion with the family?

  1. Start by reading today’s passage. Consider using the abridged version above to narrow the focus.
  2. Ask children if they could choose, would they rather have a treat right away, or whether they would like to wait for it? Most would probably like it right away, especially if the waiting period is undefined. We would all prefer if God brought healing suddenly, but often it requires time and change, and this makes sense, right? Would a loving Father give you something good if your lifestyle would just allow the same illness to occur again? Probably not. That is why the Holy Spirit walks with us on a journey back to health. All of this doesn’t negate our part in agreeing with God’s will to heal by practicing the laying on of hands. 
  3. Do you know someone who needs healing? Encourage the children to visit someone who needs healing so that they can practice the laying on of hands
  4. Finish by praying together and lead younger children. If the prayer above is too complex for children use the one below:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for always wanting to bring healing. Help me to be brave enough to lay hands on sick people and see then be made we’ll.