12.8.09, Mark 6:6-13

Posted on December 8, 2008


Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil 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 tunic. 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, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”

12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Just The Two of Us

This is a great passage where we finally see the disciples released to do ministry on their own, and actually DO great ministry: casting out demons and healing sick people!  Jesus instructs them to bring just the bare essentials with them: their staff and sandals.  Besides that, they are told not to carry anything extra or in duplicate, no bread, no bag, no money, no extra tunic.  The lesson seems to be “bring only one of each, and even none of some”.  But there is one extra thing that Jesus commands the disciples to bring with them as they minister:

“He sent them out two by two.”

The only extra asset the disciples bring with them as they travel to proclaim the Kingdom is another disciple.  It’s as if Jesus is saying, “You don’t need money.  You don’t need a bag.  You don’t even need food!  But you need to someone to travel alongside of you on the journey.”  In ministry, more important than your clothes or resources or money are your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Sometimes we reverse this order of priority, focusing instead on having resources and money and a good organization…and having a good partners in ministry if it’s possible.  But we need to have these healthy partnerships first because they are indispensible to how we proclaim the Kingdom.

Questions:

1. Why do you think it is so important to serve with others?  Can’t we do a lot on our own?

2. In the ministries you serve, do you have a partner(s) to travel with?  If so, what has been the benefits for your ministry?  If not, what have been the effects on your ministry?

3. Sometimes, we have partners we don’t want!  But this is how it was with the disciples as well, as many of them did not get along.  What do we need to do to have healthier relationships with those whom we serve (but don’t get along!) with?

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Posted in: Uncategorized
3 Responses “12.8.09, Mark 6:6-13” →

  1. Dongwoon Hyun

    December 9, 2008

    Isn’t verse 11 basically taking revenge on those who do not welcome you? Somehow that doesn’t seem so much like grace and love. Aren’t they asking a bit much by coming completely empty-handed (except for the word of God) to a random person’s house and staying there until they leave the town entirely? I sort of see how if that person were to hear the message but not accept it and not treat the disciples well, then they are rejecting Jesus. But I thought that Christianity should be more than wiping our dusty sandals at a person who did not immediately embrace Jesus or understand entirely the message that Jesus (and his disciples) were preaching.
    Growing up, there were many times that I was spoonfed the gospel but did not understand it and was unable to act on it too. How should we interpret this verse?


  2. chomomma

    December 9, 2008

    Question: Why is dusting off your feet before you leave a testimony against the people? It almost sounds a bit insulting, as if since they were rejected, they should return the insult back to those people. Perhaps (most likely), I am completely misinterpreting this line.


  3. peterwchin

    December 10, 2008

    a good starting place to understand the fuller context of this passage is reading matthew 10, where a more detailed account of the sending out is given.

    in response to the specific questions, in older and mediterranean cultures, hospitality was universal and expected. if someone would completely reject a visitor, not even offering water or listening, that was a full rejection of that person, like an insult. it is not the same contextually as today, if someone stopped by your door.

    the act of dusting off the feet is actually an old ritual that some jews would do after walking through the land of gentiles, a kind of cleansing process. so it was not so much an insult, as a kind of symbol that the apostles washed themselves of the rejection and its consequences. so it is a testimony that these people were approached by Jesus’ own disciples, rejected that message outright, offered no hospitality – grace was offered, and rejected.

    now, does this mean that these people’s fate was sealed forever at that point? it is not possible for us to tell from our perspective. but given the character of our God as revealed in Scripture, as someone who pursues lost sheep and coins, as a God who does not desire even one to perish, we can be comforted knowing that God is not looking to shut the door on anyone quickly.

    but we cannot avoid one simple truth here: a chance is a chance. if the disciples offered the truth as a first hand witness to these people, and they rejected them, we cannot say that God is not fair, or that a chance was not given them. if we are given more chances, as many of us inevitably are, we have to see that as grace…not something we deserved to receive. instead, we need to see the importance of seizing the opportunities we are given, and at the same time, making sure that those around us are given as many opportunities to accept Jesus as possible.

12.8.09, Mark 6:6-13

Posted on December 8, 2008


Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil 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 tunic. 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, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”

12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Just The Two of Us

This is a great passage where we finally see the disciples released to do ministry on their own, and actually DO great ministry: casting out demons and healing sick people!  Jesus instructs them to bring just the bare essentials with them: their staff and sandals.  Besides that, they are told not to carry anything extra or in duplicate, no bread, no bag, no money, no extra tunic.  The lesson seems to be “bring only one of each, and even none of some”.  But there is one extra thing that Jesus commands the disciples to bring with them as they minister:

“He sent them out two by two.”

The only extra asset the disciples bring with them as they travel to proclaim the Kingdom is another disciple.  It’s as if Jesus is saying, “You don’t need money.  You don’t need a bag.  You don’t even need food!  But you need to someone to travel alongside of you on the journey.”  In ministry, more important than your clothes or resources or money are your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Sometimes we reverse this order of priority, focusing instead on having resources and money and a good organization…and having a good partners in ministry if it’s possible.  But we need to have these healthy partnerships first because they are indispensible to how we proclaim the Kingdom.

Questions:

1. Why do you think it is so important to serve with others?  Can’t we do a lot on our own?

2. In the ministries you serve, do you have a partner(s) to travel with?  If so, what has been the benefits for your ministry?  If not, what have been the effects on your ministry?

3. Sometimes, we have partners we don’t want!  But this is how it was with the disciples as well, as many of them did not get along.  What do we need to do to have healthier relationships with those whom we serve (but don’t get along!) with?

Posted in: Uncategorized
3 Responses “12.8.09, Mark 6:6-13” →

  1. Dongwoon Hyun

    December 9, 2008

    Isn’t verse 11 basically taking revenge on those who do not welcome you? Somehow that doesn’t seem so much like grace and love. Aren’t they asking a bit much by coming completely empty-handed (except for the word of God) to a random person’s house and staying there until they leave the town entirely? I sort of see how if that person were to hear the message but not accept it and not treat the disciples well, then they are rejecting Jesus. But I thought that Christianity should be more than wiping our dusty sandals at a person who did not immediately embrace Jesus or understand entirely the message that Jesus (and his disciples) were preaching.
    Growing up, there were many times that I was spoonfed the gospel but did not understand it and was unable to act on it too. How should we interpret this verse?


  2. chomomma

    December 9, 2008

    Question: Why is dusting off your feet before you leave a testimony against the people? It almost sounds a bit insulting, as if since they were rejected, they should return the insult back to those people. Perhaps (most likely), I am completely misinterpreting this line.


  3. peterwchin

    December 10, 2008

    a good starting place to understand the fuller context of this passage is reading matthew 10, where a more detailed account of the sending out is given.

    in response to the specific questions, in older and mediterranean cultures, hospitality was universal and expected. if someone would completely reject a visitor, not even offering water or listening, that was a full rejection of that person, like an insult. it is not the same contextually as today, if someone stopped by your door.

    the act of dusting off the feet is actually an old ritual that some jews would do after walking through the land of gentiles, a kind of cleansing process. so it was not so much an insult, as a kind of symbol that the apostles washed themselves of the rejection and its consequences. so it is a testimony that these people were approached by Jesus’ own disciples, rejected that message outright, offered no hospitality – grace was offered, and rejected.

    now, does this mean that these people’s fate was sealed forever at that point? it is not possible for us to tell from our perspective. but given the character of our God as revealed in Scripture, as someone who pursues lost sheep and coins, as a God who does not desire even one to perish, we can be comforted knowing that God is not looking to shut the door on anyone quickly.

    but we cannot avoid one simple truth here: a chance is a chance. if the disciples offered the truth as a first hand witness to these people, and they rejected them, we cannot say that God is not fair, or that a chance was not given them. if we are given more chances, as many of us inevitably are, we have to see that as grace…not something we deserved to receive. instead, we need to see the importance of seizing the opportunities we are given, and at the same time, making sure that those around us are given as many opportunities to accept Jesus as possible.

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