28 January 2016

Mark 6:6-13

“He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two.” (v. 7)

Psalm: Psalm 22:22-31


The mission of Jesus is not accomplished alone. He gathers a group of friends to be with him and to announce the good news of the kingdom of God. Like Jesus, who went to teach in the surrounding villages, so the twelve are sent out.

The gospel (good news) is announced not just in their words, but by the way they live. Jesus' instructions to the disciples, to take "nothing except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money" (v. 8), are demanding. Jesus invites them to set off on the journey without any of the normal trappings of security and to live out - and so proclaim - a simple trust in God.

Jesus prepares them to face rejection or indifference - but rather than being discouraged or detained by such resistance, they are simply to move on, 'shaking the dust from their feet' (verse 11).

The lives of those who do welcome the gospel can be transformed. Like Jesus, the disciples are given authority to cast our demons and heal the sick. Perhaps in our own age we might think in terms of helping people find freedom from despair, or addiction to what's ultimately unsatisfying.

To be part of the mission of Jesus means being willing to live a life that trusts and to root our lives in what is essential.

To Ponder

  • If Jesus sent out the disciples today, what instructions do you think he would give them?
  • When have you had to go beyond your fears and set out with very little? What did you learn from this experience?
  • What can healing the sick and casting out demons mean for us today?

Bible notes author

The Revd Carole Irwin

Carole is a presbyter in the Methodist Church. She has served in circuits in Folkestone and Bradford, and is currently Director of Studies at Wesley House, Cambridge.