Bible Reading Blog — January 28, 2016

28 Jan

Today’s Readings — Leviticus 16 & Mark 6:7-13

There are several principles in Jesus’ sending of the twelve in Mark 6:7-13. First, they were sent two by two. The work of ministry as we see it in the Bible is rarely an individual endeavor. Even the apostle Paul, who is viewed as the world’s greatest pioneer missionary, did not go it alone but was constantly teamed up with others who worked with him in ministry.

We also see in Mark that the disciples did not go on their own authority but were given authority by Jesus over unclean spirits. Jesus called them and He empowered them.

Jesus forced them into a position of depending on God by instructing them to take nothing for their journey except a staff — no bread, no bag, no money.

Finally, Jesus told the disciples to stay with those who were receptive to their ministry and to depart from those who rejected them, shaking the dust off their feet as a testimony against them.

The ministry as recorded in Mark was a success. They proclaimed the kingdom message of repentance, they cast out demons and healed the sick.

What of this story is applicable to us today? Certainly the general principles all still hold for us. The unique events of the gospels are not intended to be imitated exactly by us, but we should consider what principles we can learn from them.

In this case, the big principles that come out of this text are simple but profound. We need each other, we need the power of God, we need faith, and we need the wisdom to discern between those who are receptive to our message and those who are not. When these things are flowing through our lives, we will be effective in ministering to others. God is in charge of the fruit (remember the parable of the sower) but we are going to be effective at spreading the seed if we practice these things.

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