Power Shared

A work and witness team and their luggage. We don't travel quite as "light" these days :) 


Scripture:

Mark 6: 7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 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. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Observation:

Throughout this journey in Mark’s gospel we see the revelation of Christ’s power. Suddenly there is a shift. After his discouraging experience in Nazareth, Jesus disperses his followers, sending them out in his mission. He shares his power with these individuals who travel, unencumbered by extra baggage. As they travel light, they learn dependence and trust in God, and on the hospitality of those whom they will meet. 

What we see clearly is that the disciples’ mission is an extension of Jesus’ mission. Jesus shares his power with them so that they may participate in his mission. 

Application:

Jesus empowers the unlikely to participate with him on mission. One can only imagine the rag-tag band of disciples being sent out without any supplies, luggage, or financial support, to go and take Jesus’ mission to the people. Looking back on this moment one might think that he was crazy, and yet there was something to be learned from the experience. 

  • We are to show reliance, or dependence upon Jesus to lead us into mission. Far too often we are trying to figure out the mission of God on our own. That’s not our place, nor our purpose. Jesus already has a mission and he invites us to participate with him in this mission. Our problem comes when we fail to listen to the Lord and receive our instructions for the mission from the one planning the mission. 

  • We worry far too much about the resources. Recently I’ve been at gatherings of church planters who have repeatedly said that the resources are in the harvest. That’s exactly what Jesus was saying. The resources for support were to be found in the harvest which the disciples would encounter. 

  • Finally, the disciples discovered that participation in Jesus’ mission resulted in empowerment. In other words — Jesus wouldn’t send them out on his mission without giving them his power. 

This final point of shared power is vital to our understanding of participation in the mission. Maybe we aren’t seeing the power and/or the results because we are on our own mission! Shared power is only made available when we participate in Jesus’ mission in the world. 

Jesus is still in the business of healing the sick and saving the oppressed. If we don’t go with him on mission Jesus will find unlikely individuals whom he will send out. As we open our eyes to his work in the world, we must open ourselves up to a vulnerable type of Christianity that listens to the subtle nudges of the Spirit and lead us in the direction of the mission. Even when standing at the fringes of the mission we being to experience a power — one which may, at first, seem frighteningly overwhelming but then becomes warm and welcoming. The Lord extends an invitation — “come and participate in me.” 

Prayer:

Lord, may I simply be your vessel. Amen. 

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