And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belt— but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that men should repent. And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them …. The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. Mark 6:7-13, 30-32
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We are many years forward from the early days of Jesus establishing his kingdom and training his followers to participate in its advancement. In today’s passage the twelve apostles are experiencing on the job training as Jesus sends them out to participate in kingdom work. The account of the apostles “sending” experience in today’s passage includes a lot of details. Keep in mind that Jesus is actually present with the apostles, they are twelve uniquely appointed apostles, and that the provision of the cross is still ahead. These factors contribute to why many of these details are not likely to be a part of how Jesus prepares us today to participate in the advancement of his kingdom. For most of us we will do well to focus on the essentials.
As Christ-followers, we are expected to participate in kingdom work. Because of this, Jesus always stands ready to provide on the job training. Jesus is with us today through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Just as his inner-circle of disciples were appointed to be “with him,” so are we today. We can regularly come into the inner sanctuary of prayer to hang out with Jesus and let him build us into devoted and prepared disciples he can use for the sake of his kingdom that is still going forward sure and strong all these centuries later. Like the apostles, we also are “sent” ones who go out to so live before others that they see the difference Jesus makes in our lives for our having been “with him.” With those who are responsive, we share (the gospel) how they, too, can become a Christ-follower appointed to be “with him” and to so live for him.
Like the apostles, some people receive us and some don’t. Unbelief and rejection are to be expected but we always hope for more. When the apostles returned from their experience of being sent out they reported to Jesus all that happened. In addition, at Jesus’ instruction, they went away to a secluded spot to rest. This two things are important in our training to become effective kingdom workers. Unique to us, we can combine these two things. We need to regularly get away from it all and find rest in the presence of Jesus. As we experience the peace and quietness of his presence, we can report to him all they ways we see our lives touching others for the sake of his kingdom.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I come into the inner sanctuary of prayer to be with you and to let you build yourself into my life more fully and completely. Help me to become a more devoted disciple who is more fully prepared for you to use for the sake of your kingdom. Help me be more in tune with the ways my life can make a difference for your kingdom. I look forward to restful times alone with you where we review together all the ways my life is advancing your kingdom in the lives of others. Amen!
Posted on Tue, February 13, 2018
by Ken Hart