You know how it is when you get nice and cosy, and you just want to stay there. You’re enjoying life, you like what’s happening…
…and then someone asks you to go and do something else…
Jesus sends out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
8 These were his instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed with oil many people who were ill and healed them.
The disciples are following Jesus. Safety in numbers and all that. Now it’s about to change. Jesus is sending them out. They are to take the message from village to village.
I can just imagine the cries of, “Do we have to?”, “Can’t we stay with you?”, “You say it so much better”. But Jesus needs them to go out and take the message with them. It needs to get to more places than he can go, and they may as well get used to being his voice and feet.
There comes a point for us all when we can no longer stay in the safety of the crowd. The point comes when we cannot stay sitting and listening to what Jesus is saying – and have to go and take that message “out there”.
Perhaps we feel that we have nowhere to go to take the message, but we all have a place where we live and can live out our faith. Our housegroup has been using the resource from The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, Life on the Front Line, reminding us that whoever we are, whatever our lifestyle and circumstances, we all have a “front line”.
So today, how will we respond as Jesus sends us out, to take his message and do his work?
Thank you Lord,
that your calling is not one of safe ineffectiveness,
but that you equip us and send us.
May we take your love and hope
to the places we go,
the places you send us
day by day.