Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples
1One day Jesus called together his twelve disciplesa and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. 2Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3“Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money,b or even a change of clothes. 4Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. 5And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
6So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
Jesus turns his disciples into missionaries, at least for a little while. Eventually it becomes their life work. If we are his disciples, he either will or already has, turned us into missionaries. It may be in places we don’t expect and in ways we don’t expect, but we are all missionaries. So from this passage, how are we to be what he calls us to be?
“Take nothing for your journey” We are on a journey! This life is not home, will never be home and we should be missing home. We are traveling missionaries in a foreign land with purposes to fulfill before we come home.
“Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money,b or even a change of clothes.” We are on a mission and that mission is to consume us. We are not to be attached to this world or carry this world around with us. We are called to live by faith in God, not our stuff. Jesus salvation is by faith and it will be very difficult for us to convince others of how wonderful a life of faith is if we ourselves put more faith in our “stuff” than we do in our God.
“4Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town.” I’m confused Lord, am I going, or am I staying? Well, from this sentence, the answer appears to be both. I think what Jesus is saying to me is that through my life, and perhaps even any one day, he may change my place, mission, or purpose. But I am to proclaim his Kingdom and Life and Salvation, in the moment I am living in right then and right there. There are 1440 minutes in a day and I am to be Jesus in the moment and situation I find myself each and every one of those minutes.
“5And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” We cannot judge our success or failure by the results of other people’s faith life. We are to give our life, just as Jesus did, for the sake of all, but in the end we and they are all responsible for our own decisions.
Lord, help me to forever travel with the partner you have given me. Give us the courage to encourage each other to have complete faith in you, to accept your mission for us, and to live that mission minute by minute. Holy Spirit, move those we touch, and send another pair to those who turn us away.