Jesus sends His disciples as missionaries

For many years Dr. Frances Schaeffer and his wife Edith ran a house of Christian hospitality and study in Switzerland called L’Abri. They opened their hearts and homes to hundreds of people seeking Biblical answers to life’s challenges. In her book What is a Family? E … More

Hospitality

Jesus had been with the disciples for a period of training and now they were ready to go out and preach. He sent them out in pairs so they could encourage one another (v. 7). He gave them power over unclean spirits and with this He gave them instructions for their journey (vv. 8-10. They were not to take unnecessary luggage nor any food, or money or extra clothing. This meant they would have to trust God and depend on the hospitality of the people. Hospitality was a sacred duty in the East. When a stranger entered a village, it was not his duty to search for hospitality; it was the duty of the village to offer it. If the people refused to receive or listen to them they were to leave. As they departed they were to “shake off the dust” (v. 11) from their feet as a testimony against the town.

The mark of the Christian disciple was to be simplicity, trust, and generosity which is always to give and never to demand. When the apostles went out to preach to men, they did not create a message; they brought a message (vv. 12-13). They didn’t tell people what they believed or what they considered probable; they told people what Jesus told them. It was not their opinions they brought to men; it was God’s truth. The message of the prophets always began, “Thus saith the Lord.”

The message they brought was “Repent.” Genuine repentance means a change of both heart and action. It is no wonder that it disturbed people because it meant a complete reversal of life. The change was not necessarily from robbery, murder, adultery etc., but it might be from selfishness and a self-centered life. Clearly that was a disturbing message. It is bound to hurt, for it involves the bitter realization that the way we were following is wrong.

Application

One of the customs in Palestine was to entertain people passing through with meals and lodging. When a stranger entered a village it was not his responsibility to search out a place of hospitality, but it was the duty of the people in the village to offer it. My home needs to be open to missionaries and Christian workers as a place to stay when they are passing through? Who knows? I might be entertaining angels unawares (Heb. 13:2).

Mark 6:7-13 (English Standard Version)

And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff--no bread, no bag, no money in their belts-- but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, "Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

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