Friday, August 3, 2012

Special Instructions for 12 Disciples

Mark 6: 8 – 11 Jesus’ instructions to the disciples he sent out:

1) Take nothing except a staff, a walking stick. What does a staff symbolize? The staff is an ecclesiastical ornament which is conferred on bishops at their consecration and is the symbol of authority and jurisdiction. It represents the staff of the 'Good Shepherd' who watches over his flock. More practically, the staff was a convenient walking aid as the disciples hiked from village to village. It was also a weapon against wild animals.

2) Sandals, no extra coat. Why not? They would seem more like the common folk they were visiting. At this point we should see a sense of urgency – just go.

3) Stay put at the first hospitable place. Don’t seek out better accommodations.

4) If you’re unwelcome shake the dust off your feet when you leave. What does this signify? The Jews often did this when they were returning from a journey to a pagan land. Before they crossed back into Israel, they would shake the dust off their clothes and off their shoes. It represented a total disassociation from the pagans and the pollution of their land. In this case, Jesus told His men to do this as a sign against those who rejected.

What did they preach? Repent (verse 12). That word means “to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins”. It refers to “a change of mind that leads to a change of action.” We often use the phrase “to be converted”. To repent one should stop doing what is wrong and start doing what is right. Stop living a life of sin and start living a life of good works.

What did the disciples do? They drove out demons and they healed the sick (verse 13). These miracles gave validity and authority to their message of repentance.

Next post - back to building a log home.