Gospel Reading for Sunday, July 12 Mark 6:7-13

GospelMK 6:7-13

Jesus 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. 
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. 
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.” 
So they went off and preached repentance. 
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.


Last week we read about (but I didn't write about...) how Jesus was rejected in his hometown.  (Mark 6:1-6) 
The place that should always be welcoming and refreshing-- a haven, if you will.  It stings a little to read about people basically calling Jesus an "ordinary" man; dismissing him.

So, now Jesus is calling his closest friends to him and is giving them instructions on how they are to go out and teach.  I mean, they have seen him do miraculous things, so they KNOW he is the real deal...but they also know that he is not honored by everyone.  They know that they will not be welcomed in every place.  If, to some, Jesus is just "the son of the carpenter" then they will absolutely be called "crazy".  It's probably more than a little daunting to have this task set before them.

So, Jesus tells them to buddy up and also, side-note, don't take anything along with you.  Like, as in, nothing.  I'm not going to lie to you, I might have thrown in the towel here.  
"Ok, Jesus, you're asking me to go out and preach repentance. Great.  I'm all for it.  You're asking me to put myself in situations where I am going to be mocked and ridiculed.  Not as awesome, but ok, I can get on board.   And now...now, I can't bring along a second tunic?  I really do want to preach the Gospel, but I just want to look good while I'm doing it."

I think there is always somewhere that we want to draw the line with Jesus.  

We will help this person who needs a friend...until they make me uncomfortable or ask too much of me.  And then I'm done. 

We will give money to those in need...but only a "reasonable" amount.  

We will forgive that person we don't like...but not a fourth or fifth time.  

We will talk about grace being poured out for us...but not really believe it's being poured out for those people.

We will surrender our hearts to Jesus...except for that dark corner in the back where we keep our gossip, lust, gluttony, bitterness, or whatever guilty pleasure we like to hide back there.  

I'm preaching to myself here but I am guessing I'm not alone.  We all have that thing that we are holding onto.  That thing that, when we are holding onto it and Jesus comes near, we start to slowly back away from Him.

Maybe we are fine giving things up for Jesus.  Just not all the things.

But that's what Jesus is asking the apostles to do.  That's what he's asking us to do.  Can you see Him gently taking their hands, asking them to hand over their things?

No food, no sack, no money.  Just trust.  In the One who is able to sustain you in all things.

He is asking us to depend on Him for the grace, for the contentment, for the complete surrender.

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