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?