Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Ultimate Ministry Team

Mark 6: 6b – 13
Look at the men Jesus chose for his ministry team: fishermen - Simon Peter, James, John, Philip; John the Baptist’s disciple, - Andrew; a despised tax collector for Rome - Matthew; a political revolutionary - Simon the Zealot; a traitor - Judas. We know from the clues in the gospels that their characteristics included quick-temperedness, doubt, lack of faith, lack of understanding, lashing out, misspeaking, getting into trouble, failures, and other problems.
       
In spite of their weaknesses, the Lord used these men to turn the world upside down for His glory. If He can use them, surely He can use us too!

He sent them out 2 by 2. Why? First of all it fulfilled the requirements of the Law for every testimony to be established by the words of at least two witnesses – Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; Numbers 35:30. It provided the men with companionship, encouragement and for someone to pray for them. This was the method used by John the Baptist when he sent out his followers (Luke 7:18-19). This has been the method followed by Christians since the days of Jesus. The early church employed this method, Acts 13:2-3 (Barnabas & Saul); 15:39-41 (Barnabas & Mark, Paul & Silas); 19:22 (Timothy & Erastus).

Jesus gave the disciples power (authority, jurisdiction, strength) over unclean spirits. This in itself was a miracle. And it wasn’t just power to cast out demons. We’re told in Matthew 10: 1: “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” Imagine this power!

In the next post we’ll look at Jesus’ instructions to them.