Mark 16:18

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
For what else are hearing, reading and copiously depositing things in the memory, than several stages of drinking in thoughts? The Lord, however, foretold concerning his faithful followers, that even “if they should drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them.” And thus it happens that they who read with judgment, and bestow their approval on whatever is commendable according to the rule of faith, and disapprove of things which ought to be repudiated, even if they commit to their memory heretical statements which are declared to be worthy of disapproval, they receive no harm from the poisonous and depraved nature of these sentences.


AD 735
What shall we say here about infants, who by reason of their age cannot yet believe; for as to older persons there is no question. In the Church then of our Saviour, children believe byothers, as also they drew from others the sins which are remitted to them inbaptism.Theophlyact: That is, they shall scatter before them serpents, whether intellectual or sensible, as it is said, Ye shall tread upon serpents and scorpions, which is understood spiritually. But it may also mean sensible serpents, as when Paul received no hurt from the viper. There follows: “And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.” We read of many such cases in history, for many persons have drank poison unhurt, by guarding themselves with the signof Christ. It goes on: “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
They shall take up serpents. From the places which they infested, and as Euthymius says, "They, shall destroy them, or even take them up in their hands without harm," as S. Paul did the viper. Therefore the Arabic translates, They shall take up serpents in their hands. And if they shall drink any deadly thing. They shall drink poison unharmed, as the Apostles and many Saints have done. They shall lay their hands upon the sick, &c. Observe that these signs were necessary in the Primitive Church for proving and strengthening the faith of Christ. Wherefore at that time almost all believers wrought miracles, at least of certain kinds; as, for example, the expulsion of devils from energumens. This is plain from Justin"s Dialogue against Trypho, Tertullian (Apolog.), Lactantius, and others. Many also at that time received in baptism the gift of tongues. See Acts 10:47, &c. Mystically: S. Bernard (Serm. de Ascens.) says, "The first work of faith which worketh by love is compunction of hea...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Mark, when about to finish his Gospel, relates the last appearance of our Lord to His disciples after His Resurrection, saying, “For the last time He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat.”

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
We should observe that Luke says in the Acts, “As He was eating with them For He ate, and then ascended, that bythe act of eating, the truth of the flesh might be declared. Wherefore it is also here said that “He appeared to them for the last time as they sat at meat.”. Another reason also why our Lord rebuked His disciples, when He left them as to His bodily presence, was, that the words which He spoke on leaving them might remain more deeply impressed upon the hearts of His hearers. After rebuking the hardness of their hearts, let us hear the words of advice which He speaks. For it goes on: “Goye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Every man must be understood by “every creature;” for man partakes something of every creatures; he has existence as have stones, life as trees, feeling as animals, understanding as have Angels. For the Gospel is preached to every creature, because He is taught by it, for whose sake all are created, whom all things are in some way...


AD 420
But He appeared when allthe eleven were together, that all might be witnesses, and relate to all men what they had seen and heard in common. It goes on: “And upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them who had seen Him after His Resurrection. "But there were some there who did not believe; when these then were sitting at meat, (as Mark says,) and were still speaking, (as Luke relates,) “The Lord stood in the midst of them, and saithunto them, Peace be unto you;” say. The rebuke therefore which Mark here mentions must have been amongst those words, which Luke and John say, that the Lord at that time spoke to the disciples. But another question is raised, how Mark says that He appeared when the eleven sat at meat, if the time was the first part of the night on the Lord's day, when John plainly says that Thomas was not with them, who, we believe, had gone out, before the Lord came in to them, after those two had returned from the village, and s...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Or else; to every creature, that is, whether believing or unbelieving. It goes on: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” For it is not enough to believe, for he who believe hand is not baptized, but is a catechumen, has not yet attained to perfect salvation.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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