March 11, 2023
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 many sick people with oil and healed them.
Authority Given to Disciples
In the past months, we’ve seen some of the biggest tech companies laying off over 60,000 employees. For those on the wrong end of the organizational transformations, the misery has only just begun. Many of the now unemployed will face months of constant uncertainty, trials, and rejection. Finding good employment is not easy.
The 12 disciples also went through a sort of organizational transformation. In Mark chapter 6 Jesus sends the disciples out to start their ministry. The work done by Jesus was now to be continued by them. Jesus knew that this mission would not be easy. He knew that disciples were about to face uncertainty, trials, and rejection.
In verse 7 we read that he gave them his “authority over impure spirits”. That sounds like the ultimate superpower, doesn’t it? Something that would make the disciples invincible and not fear anything. But the verb used in this verse is apostellõ which is a Greek term used for sending out representatives who had the authority of their commissioner. The disciples were simply messengers. Everything they said and did was in God’s name. If people rejected their message, they rejected God himself. Jesus also gave them the instructions that we read in verses 8-11 above.
Jesus knew that the disciples couldn’t do more to prepare for the mission. There was nothing they could do to avoid rejection. They had to trust in God and go and know that he would take care of the rest.
We are called to be Jesus’ disciples too. We are called to be his representatives and share his message. And whether we want to admit it or not, we often fail at our mission because we fear the rejection. We are never ready, so we keep preparing, we keep waiting until we are in control of the outcome. But that’s not what Jesus instructed his disciples to do. We are asked to go, to not be afraid and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the people around us. We have his authority to do so!