I heard a convicting sermon recently based on Mark 6, when Jesus sent the disciples out to replicate what they had been watching and learning from him. There were several boundaries that he gave:
Travel in groups of two
Take only one set of clothing, and no food with you
When you enter a new village, stay in one home until you leave that place
When someone is resistant to your teaching, leave them, shaking the dust from your sandals
These orders make sense to me, having a friend along provides company, encouragement and accountability. Bringing only the clothes on your back and no food signifies dependence on God and on the village being visited. Staying in only one home seems practical because everyone who hears of the visitors will know where to find them. And when someone resists what is being shared, leave them alone because your time should be spent with those who are hungry for the message.
How often do I follow these guidelines? Am I living out my calling with accountability, desperate dependence, accessibility and discernment? So often I set out without waiting for another to join me, praying against any type of discomfort, showing little consistency and trying too hard with those who don’t care, and giving too little to those who do.
Looks like there’s more work to do….
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 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 6:7-12