Mark 6:6b -12: Come, then Go!

“Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 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. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’  12 They went out and preached that people should repent.” NIV UK

The Anglican rector/evangelist David Watson once wrote that there are two great calls made by Jesus in the New Testament. They are ‘’Come’’, then ‘’Go.’’ We see that pattern here.

There are certain things that will always be true of Christ’s disciples:

  • We are called to relationship: ‘’Calling the Twelve to him…’’ (7a). First and foremost we are brought into a relationship with Jesus. Everything else flows from that;
  • We are called to service (7b). God never calls without also equipping. So, within the call to serve, we are also authorised to do what is asked. The task entrusted to these ordinary human beings was impossible for them apart from the ‘’authority’’ given by Jesus. Our calling is not simply to go into the world and be kind. We are enabled to show a powerful kindness that draws attention to the Lord Himself. We do the things He did (and ‘’greater things’’ John 14:12). When people see us doing what we obviously can’t do left to ourselves, it brings glory to God. God sends His Holy Spirit ‘’to show by works of power that Jesus is Lord’’;
  • We are called to teamwork: ‘’two by two’’ (7; see also Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). We need each other;
  • We are called to a life of faith (8-11). The specific instructions may differ from one ‘’journey’’ to another, but Jesus wants each of us to learn to trust God – to walk by faith and not by sight. He wants for us to grow as we prove Him for ourselves;
  • We are called to spell out how serious a matter it is for people to reject Jesus (11), and urge people to ‘’repent’’ (12) to change their minds about such a stance.

 

Prayer: Lord, please help us to stay true to every aspect of our calling.