Calling the twelve to Him, He began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were His instructions: 'Take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt.'
How great it must have been to be one of Jesus' disciples! To be with
Jesus day and night, to follow Him throughout the cities and villages
of Judea, to listen to him teach, to see Him do miracles! For Peter,
James, John, and the rest it was all about listening and learning from
the Master. Jesus was on His mission, and soon all their learning had
to go to work; they must take up mission too.
They went out and
preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and
anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. Mark 6:13
For His mission Jesus gave them the single most powerful mission tool. He gave them God's word. As for provisions, extra money, extra changes of clothing – Such things were not required. God would see to these along the way. There's more to following Jesus than just learning. Hearing and obeying must go to work and Jesus has work for us to do too. God's mission is vital.
- His Good News is for everyone because all are sin-sick sinners.
- People desperately need the cure and remedy Jesus won for us at the cross.
- And the Gospel of forgiveness is that sins have been paid for and we are forgiven.
In our Divine Service we've joined Peter to confess,
Lord to whom shall
we go? You have the words of eternal life! Question is: Are you letting
the gifts received in God's house, His forgiveness, His body and blood . . . are you allowing them to
'go to work' in your life? Or are we like children who take and take but never respond? Especially
with this 21st century generation, it seems to be all about the provisions, money, clothing and 'stuff.'
But such stuff is not required for the day that is coming when,
So it will be at the close of the age.
The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace.
In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13.49-50 Stuff like entertainment,
sports, business along with heaven and earth will pass away. And then what? God's mission is vital.
Just like Jesus' day, the work of the church is about His Word and His gifts. Programs, planning,
marketing . . . these are only vehicles to serve the Word. In fact for the longest time the church
continues to grow fastest in some of the poorest and least marketable places in the world! What we
need is Christ. Jesus said,
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me,
and I am in you. In other words the meat and potatoes, the blood and guts of mission are
empowered and fired as the people of God come around His word and gifts. That's where God
speaks! That's where the Spirit directs the church! That's where the people of God get rooted deeply
in Christ so that when they head back out into the world...the gospel light burns bright.
As it was in Jesus' day so too today. Martin Luther put it like this,
The Word they still shall let remain,
nor any thanks have for it. He's by our side upon the plain, with His good gifts and Spirit. Our world
increasingly disdains the Gospel and truth of God. Let us faithfully keep it steadfast and true in our
church and our lives. And right there dear friends, right there is where we belong in mission for
Christ' sake. You have a mission field - people you know and meet who need Jesus. The commission,
the power, the success is from God. What is given for us is to simply share the message of repentance
and forgiveness. You may not see results right away. It may take time for the seed of God's Word
to germinate in a man's heart. But do not give up! God is at work.
Although the field may look otherwise God says that it is ripe. Provisions, extra money, extra changes of clothing . . . these are not 'required'. Only Christ - Only the Gospel. You have the Gospel. And as you follow Jesus, as you share His word and do His mission work among those you know, the Lord will be with you. Prayer: Lord Jesus give to us your word and Spirit. Grant success as we share your word so that many more souls may come to worship you as their Lord and Savior.
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