Scripture reading for February 22nd: Mark 6:1-29, Psalms 39:1-13, Proverbs 10:10
“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.” (Mark 6:6b-7)
Jesus had a plan to take the Gospel of the kingdom to the entire world. He was not in a hurry, but had only a limited time to set this plan in place. After preaching in His home town and seeing few results, He called the Twelve together and organized them into evangelism teams. He knew that two would be more effective than one in this work. Two people have power in prayer and can encourage one another. Two people provide some protection and friendship when hostility arises. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) This work that they would be engaged in was like warfare against the kingdom of Satan. Jesus gave them authority over these powers of darkness and had demonstrated how to cast them out.
Jesus sent them out two by two and told them to take nothing with them for provision except their staff. This staff represented some protection but also the authority that He had given them. They were to rely on finding people who would welcome them. If no one welcomed them, they were to shake the dust from their feet as a witness against that town. God would provide for them on their mission.(Mark 6:8-11)
“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 6:12-13)
The message that these disciples took was a call to repentance. They did not tell people how much their lives would be improved by the kingdom. They did not list benefits and try to sell a product. They called for repentance, a change of mind and actions, from selfishness to humble confession and faith. As they went, they used the authority given them by Jesus to deliver those bound by evil spirits and heal sick people. The simply did what Jesus had taught them to do and God worked with them! Jesus now had multiplied ministry through these men. They would in turn raise up more who would follow Jesus and do the same things! This was Jesus’ amazing plan to reach the world and it is still working today! Have you joined His team?