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Study of Mark: Mark 6:7-13 April 9, 2010

Posted by Warren in The Gospel of Mark.
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And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff — no bread, no bag, no money in their belts — but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
(Mark 6:7-13 ESV)

The disciples go out on their own for the first time. The first “missionary trip”, so to speak.

Notice that they are supposed to live in the communities that they are trying to reach. ‘Don’t go from house to house, and make everyone in the town wait on you. Stay with one family, who will have you.’ They were also not to take any supplies with them — they were to trust God to supply all their needs.

I think it’s interesting that we know so little about the results of the outreach. We know they cast out demons in Christ’s name, and by His authority. They healed people. They preached repentance. They came home. We find out in the next section some of the results of the outreach, but we don’t know how many people they attracted.

I think this may be because it wasn’t the Gospel they were preaching. They preached repentance, just as John the Baptist did. The Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ — and all that was still three years away. They had no risen Savior to proclaim.

So why did Jesus send them out? To establish the way that missions work was to be done. Faith in God for your financial support. Not taking advantage of the people you are witnessing to (as Paul would point out to the Corinthian church later on). Going out in pairs — with someone to support you. I’m sure that there were times that the disciples got discouraged — but they always had someone with them to lift them up in prayer to God. They were faithful to the calling of God. They went out in the authority of Christ. And they did have an impact on people.

I think that this experience helped them later on, when they went out into the world. And I think they noticed a big difference, once they had the full story to tell people.

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