Mark 6:8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.
Jesus sends out the twelve to be engaged in ministry and as he sends them out they are given these instructions. Interestingly these are the same items that God instructs the Israelites to take with them when they leave Egypt. The children of Israel were to be prepared for a new and foundational shift in their relationship with God. The same could be said for the disciples for this signaled another major shift in humanity’s relationship to God. The old would pass away and the new would come and just as the Israelites were to be entirely dependent upon God for their needs, so were the followers of Jesus Christ. God provided for those who wandered in the wilderness and God provided for the disciples. The call was to a life unencumbered by the things of the world with the freedom to serve as a result of God’s provision.
Dependence upon God in all the things of life is not easy. I don’t think that this was easy for the disciples when they were sent off by Jesus. But they did step out in faith and trust him, that he would provide. The way of provision was to be through the people in the towns that they visited. Would they always be welcomed? NO — and if not, they were to move on!
Walking in faith on a daily basis is transformational to our lives. It is that daily walk in which we learn about his provision. We won’t learn about that provision if we are finding ways to take care of ourselves. For the disciples it may have been the temptation to take that extra pair of sandals or the second tunic. What is it for us? What keeps us from becoming unattached to our security blankets and completely trusting in God? (Check out this great blog post about Linus' blanket in the Peanuts Christmas Story)
The disciples were able to freely share the good news about Jesus Christ as they traveled and this became the focus of their lives. Just imagine if all of God’s children were unleashed from the things that tie them down to be engaged in kingdom’s work. The older we get we realize that this is all “stuff” and someday we (or our children) will have to do something with it.
I want to lean into a life where I trust God for his provision.
Lord, thank you for your promise of provision. Amen.
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