8 August 2015

Luke 9:1-17

“Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” (vv. 1-2)

Psalm: Psalm 64


We often overlook the two pronged nature of the mission of the disciples of Jesus. They were sent out to preach and to serve. Preaching about the kingdom of God and performing acts of compassionate service complement each other. As every Methodist knows preaching, teaching and compassionate social action all belong together in God's mission.

One of the great dangers in mission lies in ignoring social action and limiting mission to preaching and teaching. When Jesus sent out the 12 they were to trust in God's care and become involved with those to whom they were ministering. That is why they had to stay in one place in each town and be seen by the community. They had to involve themselves in the life of the community.

Mission requires engagement and a willingness to serve as well as preach. The key to what the disciples are doing is a combination of compassion and message. It is not enough to tell people that God loves them, they need to experience that love and see that love in action.

There is also a temptation to think that mission is for the professionals. Jesus sent out the 12 to do the work he couldn't do, but they were a rather motley crew. He sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) so that we could all share in his mission. We do this in lives lived out in communities of different kinds - work places, schools, homes, shops - wherever people meet. We are all sharing in God's mission and our commission is "to proclaim the kingdom of God and heal".

To Ponder

  • Where is God already at work bringing healing to your community? How can you join in?
  • How can you resource others for mission where you live, in your work and in your leisure?

Bible notes author

The Revd Diane Clutterbuck

Diane is an ordained presbyter in the Methodist Church. She works as as a coach, supervisor and trainer mainly in the public and voluntary sectors with people and organisations who are committed to growth and development.