Thoughts on Mark 6:7-13

There was a time in the training of the 12 disciples when Jesus let them practice preaching—like an internship. Some of His instructions make sense, but some seem a little extreme. I try to put myself in their sandals.

  • He sent them out in pairs—good for accountability, safety, and companionship.
  • He gave them authority over demons. Only Jesus had this power pre-cross. Today this authority is given to all believers (in His name).
  • He instructed them to travel light.
    • No food—yikes!
    • No suitcase or backpack—no backup resources
    • No money—really?!
    • No extra clothes—depending on others for warmth
    • Yes, bring a staff—protection? walking aid?
    • Yes, sandals—why mention these? In a time when people probably went barefoot as much as shod, it’s interesting He includes this. Rough terrain? A symbol of something?

I suspect going without money would be the greatest faith stretcher for me. I would want to travel light if I were walking to Shelbyville, the next town over, but I would feel a little uncomfortable without money in my pocket and no fast food in sight.

  • They were to stay with people along the way—go to the town square and preach, and God would move in someone’s heart to invite them home for the night. (Yes, hospitality was the norm in those days, but what if no one stepped up?)
  • If a town didn’t receive them, they were to shake off the dust from their feet for testimony against them. (And my mind goes to: how far is the next town? I’m hungry!)

I believe Jesus’ instructions were strictly for those 12 men for that event, but are there any principles we could glean for today? Work in community. Do the ministry God calls us to do with the resources He provides. Trust God for our daily needs. Minister to those who want it rather than beating our heads against a wall trying to get through antagonism and resistance.

What would you add?

Never go alone

The River of Life

From my 2009 Journal

When people and things disrupt my workflow, how can I tell if an interruption is a distraction or a God-event? Is it like a child’s bumper lane in a bowling alley, meant to keep me out of the gutter? Or is it a snare, a stick-pile in the river?

The rapids are the events over which I have no control, and I’m glad I have an experienced Guide with me Who knows where the hazards are. He expects me to use my paddle as I’m able and engage in the fight to stay upright, but He’s strong enough to keep me on an even keel.

Sometimes, when I’m about to be dumped into the river, I just hang onto the sides for dear life. But I’m not going to drown (unless it’s my time to go Home). When He comes to rescue me, I must relax and not struggle against Him. He has the lifeline in His hands. Thankfully, not all of life is rapids. Sometimes it’s okay to drift and to rest.

So, whether I encounter shallows, a stick-pile, or the rapids, I don’t have to figure out its source. I just need to navigate what comes with patience, faith, and grace.

Washing Windows

Journal 2006.

The Scene:  I am inside my house, facing our big picture window while a friend stands outside facing me. We each have Windex and some paper towels in hand. I wash my side. She washes hers.

The Need:  A clean window

The Conflict: I can see her dirt; she can see mine. We can’t see our own.

The Cause:  The light shines through differently from each of our perspectives.

The Solution:  Trust. Trust the other person to point out the spots I missed. Keep rubbing till she nods her approval.

The Lesson:  That’s what friends are for. A trusted friend is invaluable for pointing out my dirt. My job is to respond in gratitude for helping me get my soul-window clean—not to get angry that she pointed out my dirt.