Mark – God is On Our Side!
When God says, “GO” to our minds and hearts and tells us specifically how to go, we must listen. He knows the specific needs of others around us. Being anxious to meet those needs He uses us to provide that specific help to each other. That’s what being “SENT” means to those who believe and answer with an immediate “YES” to God.
Does God need us to help others? No, not really. God can do whatever is necessary for His people, with or without us. He uses these “go time” situations as training grounds to teach us His way, His purposes, His plan and His will. Being sent out of our comfort zones is a way to mature us, to rely on Him, to tap into His power, so we will begin to bear the fruits of His character such as unconditional love, kindness, gentleness, patience, joy of Christ in us, peace and a cool head in times of trouble, goodness and self control to avoid striking back or paying back evil for evil. All these characteristics were shown to us in the way Jesus did ministry while here on earth. All these characteristics are opposite of what the world teaches. Being sent means we have his help by the power of His Holy Spirit to grow in His ways. We help each other find and follow Christ in the process!
(“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Gal 5 Berean Bible)
Sent people give God, the One and Only, who gave the order to go, and provided what is needed, all the glory for the results. Sent people love God with all their minds, hearts and souls. Sent people are teachable. Sent people live expectant lives, waiting for their next assignment. Sent people do only what the Father tells them to say and do. Sent people walk humbly with God.
Mark 6, NLT
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples
Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. 7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. 8 He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. 9 He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes.
10 “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. 11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. 13 And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.
When the Lord originally called the twelve apostles, His purpose was to teach and train them so that they might assist Him and eventually be able to take His place when He returned to the Father (Mark 3:13–15). Before sending them out, He reaffirmed their authority to heal and to cast out demons (Mark 6:7), and He gave them some pointed instructions (see Matt. 10 for a more detailed account of this sermon).
He told them to take what they already owned and not go out and buy special equipment for their itinerant travels. They were not to be loaded down with extra baggage. (You cannot miss the note of urgency in this “commissioning sermon.”) Jesus wanted them to be adequately supplied, but not to the point of ceasing to live by faith. The word bag means “a beggar’s bag.” They were definitely not to beg for either food or money.
As they ministered from place to place, they would encounter both hospitality and hostility, both friends and enemies. He cautioned them to stay at one house in each community and not to “pick and choose” when it came to their food and accommodations. After all, they were there to be profitable servants, not pampered guests. If a house or a village did not receive them, they had His permission to declare God’s judgment on those people. It was customary for the Jews to shake the dust off their feet whenever they left Gentile territory, but for Jews to do this to their fellow Jews would be something new (Luke 10:10–11; Acts 13:51).
The word translated “send” in Mark 6:7 is apostello in the Greek and gives us our English word apostle. It means “to send someone with a special commission to represent another and to accomplish his work.” Jesus gave these twelve men both the apostolic authority and the divine ability to do the job He sent them to do. They were not “on their own”; they represented Him in all that they did and said.
We noted before (Mark 3:16–19) that a comparison of the lists of the apostles’ names reveals that the names are given in several pairs: Peter and Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, etc. Jesus sent them out in pairs because it is always easier and safer for servants to travel and work together. “Two are better than one” (Eccl. 4:9), and the law, as previously observed, required two witnesses to verify a matter (Deut. 17:6; 19:15; 2 Cor. 13:1). They would not only help each other; they would also learn from each other.
The men went out and did what Jesus told them to do. It is remarkable that a band of ordinary men could go out in this way to represent Almighty God, and that they could demonstrate their authority by performing miracles. God’s commandments always include His enablements (2 Cor. 3:5–6). They proclaimed the good news of the kingdom, called on sinners to repent, and healed many who were sick (Mark 6:12–13; Luke 9:6).
There are many benefits to being sent by God for a specific task or journey. The greatest amazement on my own journey is how God provides for every step. Say yes when He sends. God guides. God provides. You need nothing but Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, Savior and Lord,
Your ways are amazing because Your Love for us is amazing. I am Yours. You are mine. I believe. I’m listening. I wait expectantly for your next assignment, small or large. I love you, Lord with all my heart, mind and soul. I love seeing your glory in sent people.
In Jesus Name, Amen