Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.
8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 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.
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?