Jesus called the Twelve to him, and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority and power to deal with the evil opposition. He sent them off with these instructions:“Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment for this. YOU are the equipment.”
Mark 6: 7-8 The Message
Being God in the flesh, Jesus could have done everything Himself. Yet He intentionally assigned tasks to His disciples. Some of these tasks were small (go and fetch that donkey), while others were larger, and more significant. One of the most important tasks Jesus assigned to his disciples was ministering to others.
After dividing His disciples into pairs, Jesus sends them out to minister. He knows they will encounter evil. He knows that they will not be welcomed in some towns. He prepares them for those kinds of receptions, telling them that if that happens, they are to shake the dust off their feet and move on. Don’t keep trying and trying! Pray that you planted a seed, and move on to the next town.
Jesus does not give them a huge laundry list of what to pack for their mission. In fact, we are surprised at how little Jesus asks his disciples to take with them. The main thing they pack… is themselves! As The Message translation puts it: “Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment. YOU are the equipment.”
Many of us have a crisis of confidence when it comes to talking about Jesus, or ministering in His name. We think it is someone else’s job, or that we are ill-equipped to handle the task.
One roadblock to ministry can be thinking we must say everything perfectly, or to say it all at once. Many churches have a sign in their Sunday school area that says, “First I learned to Love my teacher, then I learned to love my teacher’s God”.
It is also important for us to not let our passion for the Lord become a sledge hammer to others. Pounding something into those who are slowly opening their hearts can end up being more of a “turn off”, than a “turn on”. Passion for the Lord is an immensely important part of ministry, but our passion should never become a stumbling block for others.
The Lord knows that when He is by our side, there is almost nothing else we need. Here, Jesus is calling upon the disciples to take a leap of faith for the sake of ministry. God can and will work through you, if you step out in faith to minister to others. You may feel alone, but God is always with you.
Do you believe that God does the impossible?
Do you believe that God will equip you to do the impossible?
If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then you have already taken the first steps to spread God’s word. Together, you and God can take on the world! With the Lord on your side, you don’ t need to overpack! Hallelujah for that truth!
God can and will work through you, if you step out in faith to minister to others. God will love you, as you love your neighbor. And THAT is good news, for all of us!
Lord of all,
Open our eyes to see the countless opportunities to minister to those around us. We may not even realize that we are touching someone’s life, but you do. Help us to spread Your Word, knowing that you are right there each moment. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable to you, and may those words minister to others. We pray this prayer in Your most Holy name. Amen.