Episode #189: Shifted Focus
And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff – no bread, no bag, no money in their belt – but to wear sandals and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” Mark 6: 7-9
I’ve studied this verse before and always focused on what the disciples were told not to take. They couldn’t take any food for the journey, no extra clothes, and no money. They were told to wear basic sandals and only wear one tunic. They were traveling light to say the least. The only thing they were allowed to take was a mere staff. This would help protect them against animals and any robbers they may come across. Every time I looked at this passage before, I focused on what they could and could not take but missed what Jesus actually, did for them.
First; He summoned them. Jesus called them to Him on purpose, with a purpose. He chose them for the journey. This wasn’t a random selection of people. They were handpicked by Jesus for the assignment He had in mind.
Second; He sent them out, paired up with a partner. They weren’t sent out alone but with a partner who was hand selected by Jesus to create a pair whose strengths would complement each other’s weaknesses. They would not be alone on the journey. It’s important on any mission to know you are not alone, that someone is going through this with you. Like a Field General sending men behind enemy lines, Jesus paired each man with a battle buddy that would be with them in the trenches.
Third; He gave them authority over the unclean spirits. In doing this, Jesus identified the enemy and empowered them with all they needed to be victorious. Notice, He doesn’t give them authority over man. This is because Jesus knew that the man was not the enemy. The pairs weren’t going out to overpower men. They were being sent out, behind enemy lines, to rescue man from the unclean spirits holding them captive.
Seeing this now in the passage helps to shift our focus from what we are lacking to what Jesus has given us. These men were called out, sent out, and equipped by Jesus. He gave them a purpose, a partner, and a power that could only come from God. We see later in the passage that they were able to heal the sick and cast out demons in the name of Jesus. This is an example of what God can accomplish through man when we are obedient to His call and focus on what He has given us. As Jesus was about to ascend into Heaven, He gave us the great commission. He told us that He has all authority in Heaven and on Earth. With this authority, He commissioned us to GO into all the world, MAKE disciples of all the nations, BAPTIZE them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and TEACH them.
Let us be a people who no longer focus on what we feel we are lacking. Instead let’s realize we are called by Jesus for a purpose. Let’s see that we are not alone in the journey but have Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are operating with us. Let’s recognize that man is not our enemy; that we are fighting a spiritual battle against the principalities of evil that are working in this world. Let us now operate in the power, the authority, and the victory given to us in the name of Jesus Christ, the name of above all names!
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!