Mark 6: 7 – 13 Jesus send out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
These were his instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed with oil many people who were ill and healed them.
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Jesus sent out his twelve closest followers in pairs to spread the news of the kingdom of God. He gave them stringent and precise instructions. They were to take nothing with them other than what they stood up in. They were to take no food, no bag, and no money. They were allowed to wear sandals, but not to wear an extra shirt.
In every village, they were to stay with the same host for the duration of their visit. This may seem a little odd, but it was very much in line with Jesus’ other instructions to them. If they moved from house to house, it could seem that they were looking for the best hospitality. It would look as though they were profiting from their preaching; as though they were earning their living from it.
Instead of profiting from their teaching, their lives were to reflect it. They had to demonstrate a radical dependence on God for all their daily needs. Their lives had to contrast as sharply as possible with those of the people around them.
Because they were preaching repentance. Their message was that people needed to stop living by worldly wisdom and start living according to God’s wisdom. Worldly wisdom motivated people to look to their own resources, to try to accumulate money, power and status. God’s wisdom taught the opposite; we are to rely on God to supply what we need. The Twelve were sent out to tell people this, and to show them what it meant.
As well as living lives that showed total dependence on God, the Twelve were given another ‘visual aid’. They were given the gift of healing both mental and physical illness. “They drove out many demons and anointed with oil many people who were ill and healed them.”
As well as providing for our daily needs, God gives wholeness. This is both spiritual and physical. The healing miracles performed by the Twelve showed this provision. The whole of this mission was a living demonstration that God wishes to give both spiritual and physical wholeness to those who rely on him, and who turn to him to meet their needs.
Thank you for providing all my needs. Please help me to rely on you more and more.
In Jesus’ name, Amen