“and He instructed them . . .” Mark 6:8
Everybody wants power without paying the price. Jesus has been actively and aggressively, discipling His disciples. He’s taken them on a series of hands-on ministry experiences. They have seen Jesus in conflict with His own family and with religious leaders. They have seen Jesus heal, they have heard Him preach. They have witnessed His power over demons. Now the time has come for the twelve to be sent out on their mission.
As the disciples gather around Jesus, He pairs them up so that the testimony will be established by two witnesses. In addition, teams of two will be able to withstand the stress and strain of life on the road, and a team of two can encourage one another. Jesus gives them authority and instructs them to travel light. This has been Jesus’ way of ministry, He kept no funds on Him. He stayed in the homes of others.
Today, we are in danger of having too much baggage rather than too little. Jesus warns us about being too weighed down by debt and the demands of life to be able to minister to others. The purity and power of our message is buried under all our possessions. The will of Jesus has always been for His disciples to be able to say to an unbelieving world, “silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise and walk.” (Acts 3:6) Total dependence is necessary to take the message to an unbelieving world.
The disciples were not going on a pleasure tour. They were going into battle. The call to discipleship is not for the faint of heart. Every day you and I are engaging a real enemy, and real people, with real problems, with real outcomes at stake. True Christianity, world-changing Christianity is not comfortable. We must expect difficulty in ministry. A disciple is not greater than his Master, neither will be thrown off course from bringing the kingdom to others. Christ fights unbelief by finding and calling those who will truly believe.
“Dear Jesus, I realize I can’t follow you without being your disciple, I need you to empower me to walk in faith, stay dependent on you and courageously share your message with others.”