Nothing for the Journey…
When Jesus sent out the Twelve, He told them to bring little with them :
He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. -Mark 6:7-9, NAB
As Jesus sends out the Apostles to begin spreading His teachings, He specifically tells them to take nothing with them. They are to rely on what God provides for them along the way. This would not only test their faith, but also be an example to the people they meet as well.
Imagine teaching the faith without any books or references. Imagine standing in front of a class without a whiteboard or chalkboard. Imagine – this may be the most difficult pill to swallow – sharing the faith without a projector and PowerPoint presentation. How did they do it?
The Apostles allowed God to work through them – to speak through them. They were living in a world where the religious elite had abundant resources available to them, but they were coming without a single piece of silver in their pockets. In this way, they were allowing the focus to be on the power they received from God and the Good News of Christ.
Even now, as I share these teachings with you through the aide of modern technology and the Internet, I almost feel a bit silly. Here, these men found a way to share the faith with nothing but the words that came from their lips, and we seem overly-dependent upon technology. Ironic, don’t you think?
Anyway, I do not think there is anything wrong with using modern mediums to spread the Gospel, obviously, but this story should teach us one thing – regardless of our methods, it is the Word of God that makes the difference. Only through the work of Christ and gifts of the Holy Spirit can anyone share the faith, and may our ministries always remain grounded in that fact.
When we bring people to faith, it is not our dynamic speaking, eloquent writing, or stunning technology that brings them to Jesus; it is the love of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. Now, go, like the Apostles, into the world and share the Good News!