Sent on a Mission

Mark 6:7-13
Heb 12:18-19,21-24 / Psa 48

Calling the Twelve to Him, He began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
(Mark 6:7)

Don’t be ashamed to proclaim God’s Word,
The Spirit’s wisdom will form our speech;
The apostles claimed as their reward
The eternal kingdom that they preached.

Calling the Twelve to Him, He began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure 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 shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (Mark 6:7-13)

Reflection

After spending considerable time with the Master, and learning about the kingdom of God and the importance of repentance for eternal salvation, the twelve apostles were finally sent out for their first (or trial) mission. Our Lord did not merely give them some of His powers, like driving out evil spirits and healing the sick, but delegated to them His own authority to preach and perform these miraculous acts of mercy, as if He Himself was doing it. They were therefore so well equipped for their mission, that like Jesus, they did not need to bring any provisions, and did not need to worry about where they would stay in any village or town that they visited.

What possibly could be the purpose(s) of Jesus in sending out His apostles on their mission so early in His ministry? One obvious reason is because He could not cover as much ground as He could in the short period of time He had on earth. They were His “extensions”. Another is the importance of letting His leaders get the feel of their vocation as early as possible. As part of their training, this was not yet the real thing, but merely a foretaste of bigger challenges to come. They would later be dispersed all over the world after the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus to preach the Gospel of God’s plan of salvation through the life and death of His Son. It was also more practical to send out His apostles to the various towns and villages in Galilee with His power and authority rather than for the people to come to Him for healing and hearing His message of repentance. Finally, Jesus had to mobilize His forces to condition the minds of the Jews about His real mission, that He had not come as their political messiah, but as the Redeemer of the world from its fallen condition.

All Christians worth their salt are called to participate in this Great Commission. When we joined a renewal community, we were asked to prepare our personal life testimony to share in one of our weekly breakfast meetings. This was the equivalent of being sent to preach the Word of God. And we were sent to other chapters and outreaches as well to give a similar witnessing. Afterwards, we took the next big step – encouraging other members to accept the commission themselves – when we were appointed Breakfast Head couple. Finally, we understood the true essence of mission when we were appointed to head the mission that opened our outreach in Gen. Santos City. Now a thriving community, it will be installed as a chapter next month.

When we are sent on His mission, God gives us the authority and power to spread the Good News in His behalf. All that is needed is our willingness and our faith in Him that the mission will succeed. Jesus sent His apostles to “travel light,” without any provisions, because He wanted them to be dependent on God and not rely on their own abilities or resources. Indeed God will provide us with everything we need to accomplish His will. Are we prepared and willing to be at His service, to reach out to others and give witness to the Gospel and to Christ’s salvation? This is God’s message for us in today’s Gospel.

Lord, make us channels of Your Word, so that others may also find freedom and truth in Your Gospel. Grant us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may become effective witnesses in the continuing mission of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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