8. Sending Out the Twelve to Their Nation (Mark 6:7-13)
7 He called to himself the twelve, and began to send them out two by two; and he gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a staff only: no bread, no wallet, no money in their purse, 9 but to wear sandals, and not put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter into a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 Whoever will not receive you nor hear you, as you depart from there, shake off the dust that is under your feet for a testimony against them. Assuredly, I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed many with oil who were sick, and healed them.
Jesus sent his apostles according to the number of the tribes of his nation, to proclaim that all are called to the kingdom of God, and that each individual is in need of repentance and freedom from evil. He sent out his chosen ones to a holy war without weapon, not individually, but always two by two, that each one might strengthen and help the other. If one spoke, the other might pray. If one became discouraged, the other might encourage him. The kingdom of God is not built on intellectual powers of individuals, but on the fellowship of love among all, where each one considers the other better than himself. Where humility enters into the fellowship of preachers, Jesus fills his apostles with power. He who is sent out by Christ is his ambassador and representative of his kingdom, which is realized today through the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers. Wherever the messengers of Christ preach his death and his life, unclean spirits go out, the power of darkness vanishes, people trust their Redeemer, and are restored to patience and joy.
Christ’s messengers are poor so that no one may desire their wealth and attack them, and that they may not trouble themselves with earthly burdens, but trust their heavenly Father night and day, and experience his care for them at all times. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all other necessities shall be added to you. You cannot serve God and Mammon, for either you will hate the one and love the other, or else you will be loyal to the one and despise the other. Men by nature desire money, possession, and relaxation. However, Christ calls you to his spiritual kingdom and his effective service, based on contentment and continuous trust in your heavenly Father.
The Holy Spirit leads the Lord’s servants to the houses of those who are prepared, and not to the indifferent crowds. So, pray earnestly that the Lord will lead you to someone who is prepared to hear his word. You do not have to try to change the whole world, but your Lord only calls you to find individuals who long for him. They will hear you, and your preaching will bear fruit, and among them the Holy Spirit will create repentance, faith, and love. If you walk by God's guidance, and the obedience of faith, the Spirit of peace will cast out unclean spirits of hatred from your hearers hearts. He will heal sick hearts, and save many, through your humble service.
PRAYER: O Lord, we thank you for your love toward us, in that while we were unprofitable servants, you called us to preach the kingdom of your love by your authority. Help us to walk in holiness, and equip us with the word of your power, that those who hunger for your righteousness may be filled, and those who are bound by impurity, pride, and evil spirits may be freed and spiritually born again. Amen.
QUESTION 38: What were Christ’s commands to his apostles before sending them out to preach?