Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mark 6:7-13

He called the twelve apprentices together, provided them with the necessary power to deal with evil spirits, and then sent them out in pairs. Jesus gave them these counter-intuitive marching orders -- "The only thing you should take on the journey is a walking stick. Don't pack food, luggage, or money. You should wear a pair of sandals -- but don't take an extra shirt."

Then he added, "Stay as long as you can wherever you land. Don't go bouncing from house to house -- constantly in search of an upgrade. If for some reason the people in one place refuse to welcome you or listen to you, don't make a big stink about the rejection -- just knock the dust off your feet as you go. That disgusting foot-dust will be enough of a witness against them on the day of judgment."

The apprentices did as they were told and went out preaching the message -- that people need to change course, so that their hearts and actions are lined up with Jesus' agenda. Along the way they also evicted a host of evil spirits and poured healing oil onto sick people, who were restored to health as a result.

7 He called for the Twelve and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority over unclean spirits. 8 He instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a walking stick—no bread, no bags, and no money in their belts. 9 He told them to wear sandals but not to put on two shirts. 10 He said, “Whatever house you enter, remain there until you leave that place. 11 If a place doesn’t welcome you or listen to you, as you leave, shake the dust off your feet as a witness against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should change their hearts and lives. 13 They cast out many demons, and they anointed many sick people with olive oil and healed them.