by Robert M. Solomon

Day 18

Read Mark 6:7-13

Not all towns rejected Him like His hometown Nazareth, so Jesus went about teaching in an active itinerant ministry ″from village to village″ (v. 6). With so much to be done, Jesus gathered His disciples (″Calling the Twelve to him″) and ″sent them out two by two″ to replicate what He was doing (v. 7). He originally gathered the disciples to be with Him and then to preach the good news to others (Mark 3:14). Now it was time for them to take on their first assignment and go out in His Name.

Our ministry is simply a continuation of the ministry of Jesus

Jesus sent them out in twos. First, according to Old Testament Law, at least two witnesses were needed to verify a matter (Deuteronomy 19:15). Second, two were better than one as they would be able to help and encourage each other (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Jesus gave His disciples ″authority over impure spirits″ (v. 7) so that their ministry would not be hindered by evil forces. He also gave them strict instructions on how they were to conduct their ministry (vv. 8-11).

They were not to carry extra baggage: only a staff and sandals for the journey. No bread, bag, money, or extra tunics. Why such austerity? They were to be focused on their ministry; extra baggage would become a distraction, as is often the case when we spend inordinate time and energy gathering possessions and then worrying over them. Also, God's servants must trust God for their provision (Matthew 10:10). As Hudson Taylor says, ″God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supplies″.5

In every place, they were to stay in one house, and not make superficial social visits from home to home. Here again, the intensity and urgency of their mission was recognised. If the town or village rejected them and their message, they were to ″shake the dust″ off their feet and leave-moving on to other places that were more receptive (cf. Acts 13:51). This action would be a testimony against those who had rejected the message. Those who rejected Christ would also be rejected by Him (Matthew 10:33; John 12:48).

The disciples faithfully did what Jesus was doing: preaching repentance, exorcising demons, and healing the sick (vv. 12-13). Our ministry is simply a continuation of the ministry of Jesus.

5Leslie T. Lyall, A Passion for the Impossible: The Continuing Story of the Mission Hudson Taylor Began (London: OMF Books, 1965), 37.

Think through:

Jesus sent out His disciples two by two. Where has He sent you? Who are your partners in this ministry, and how do you work together? Who do you think had to partner Judas Iscariot? What would have been his experience?

Why is it important to discard excess baggage when serving Christ? What implications are there for you?




About Author

Robert Solomon served as Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore from 2002-2012. He has an active itinerant preaching and teaching ministry in Singapore and abroad. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The Race, The Conscience, The Sermon of Jesus, and Faithful to the End.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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