Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 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.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Jesus gets the twelve together and proceeds to organize them into pairs. It would be interesting to speculate on who was with who but that leads us away from the text. The instructions of Jesus are next and are interesting. They are only to take a staff with them. Yesterday in the first six verses of the text we saw the lack of faith of the “home” people but Jesus is commissioning his disciples to go out in faith trusting God and the hospitality of those they visited. They go out and they do what they were told to do and many wonderful things happened.
One of the challenges for us in the church is the ability to be be told or encouraged to do something and then to simply do it. Often we have to get something we think we need or we have to do something else before we proceed to do what needs to be done. Can you remember as a child when your mom and dad were calling and you were busy doing something and you replied, “Just a minute.” I have to admit I still do it with my family…”Just a minute. The text would suggest that the disciples were willing to do what Jesus was asking them to do and they went out in faith and did it.
Father, we are thankful when our eyes see, our ears hear, minds understand and our hands and feet move and we start talking and listening with other people. You provide us the opportunities to speak about the happenings that are going around us even of it means talking and sharing in different ways at the present time. We thank you for the signs of spring and summer, new life and we pray that we would live in the new life you have given to us in Jesus Christ. May we know his presence every moment of our lives and by doing so be led to fulfill your will for our lives.