Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil[ 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 tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 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.” They went out and preached that people should repent.
Pastor Sean Blomquist
Shelter Covenant Church (Concord)
As I wrote earlier regarding Chapter 2 of Mark, we see a rhythm with Jesus. It is always an invitation to relationship and a challenge to responsibility. Here in Chapter 6, Jesus is calling his disciples to a deeper relationship with himself. The invitation to you and me is that there is always more of HIMSELF to which he is calling us. If we are stagnant in our relationship with Jesus, it’s often an issue of hearing him. He is always calling us to himself. He is the God who calls. As a disciple, am I listening?
There is a simple way to keep the Lord always before us. The Jesus prayer is the ancient orthodox way to place oneself always before the call of Jesus. Simply say, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.” The Way of the Pilgrim says it like this: “This is a continuous uninterrupted call on the Name of Jesus with the lips, mind and heart and his blessing in all our undertakings in all places, at all times even in our sleep.” Try it; see if you begin to hear Jesus calling you to himself.
Be careful, because Jesus will send you out. Being sent is the adventure. We get to be with friends (v. 7). We get to confront evil, have authority over it and heal people (v. 13). We get to travel light and live simply (v. 8). We get to stay in one place with people building relationships and see where God is already working in their lives (v. 10).
Lord Jesus, I pray we would not only want the comfort of the call, but also the challenge of being sent. Amen.