“Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt.10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 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.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Mark 6.6-13
Ecclesiastes 4.9-10- “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”
Jesus knew what he was doing. When he sent out the disciples in groups of two, he wasn’t simply making a suggestion. Jesus had a master plan and he understood that strategically two were better than one. I mean, read the verse again in Ecclesiastes….it says it right there!
Jesus walked around, the text says, from village to village. This reminds me of John Wesley who took the gospel outside of the church walls in England to the people in the fields, and revival happened! Jesus was the originator of taking God’s Word to the people.
But when it was time to mobilize the troops, he called the Twelve, whom he had already established, and sent them off in pairs so that one one would be alone and “because they have a good return for their labor….If one falls…one can help the other up.” (Ecc. 4.9-10). He called them to do some specific things — 1) Take nothing with you, 2) Find a house or people of peace, 3) Preach the gospel of repentance, 4) Drive out demons and heal the sick. Two disciples with a very specific purpose to propagate the gospel.
This is our same commission today. Although not many of us in the USA sees obvious demon possession (perhaps it’s disguised as depression, anxiety, cancer or other illnesses), we still are called to tell people to repent and by faith heal the sick. We are called to take the Gospel forth to the nations or to support those ministries that do.
The call of Jesus wasn’t only for the Twelve but for every person either on the front lines as ministers or supporting churches who do this work. And we are called to go in pairs — calling for repentance of sins and for people to respond to Jesus.
This weekend I will be with the new Revive Lead Team for their first weekend retreat. This is a word for them. They are young disciples who are going to be making disciples. They can benefit from a word such as this that reminds them not to go at it alone. We must rely on one another and on the power of Christ to guide us.
“O Lord God, it is good for us to be in fellowship with one another and in ministry to the world. To take the gospel and spread the message of hope and salvation in your name. Come now, Lord Jesus, fall upon me Holy Spirit. Guide my steps, direct my thoughts, move in me that I might faithfully serve you all the days of my life. I praise you Lord for you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen