When thinking about Jesus sending out his 12 disciples, I’ve often focused on what he told them not to take. Reading it again recently in Mark 6, it struck me that there are two things that Jesus made sure that they did take.
They were told not to take walking sticks, food, money or even a change of clothes. Jesus sent them out empty-handed but they still accomplished so much as they trusted in God and also as they relied on other people for hospitality.
Churches like to minister from a position of strength and plenty of resources but Jesus sends his disciples out as guests rather than hosts into the world. They have to rely on others who don’t know Jesus yet to bless them and as those people bless them it unlocks something spiritually within them.
Anyway, back to that two things that they couldn’t go without.
The obvious one is authority. With their reliance on God’s power and authority, they see miracles and this more than makes up for their lack of possessions and resources.
The second thing is people. Jesus sent them out in pairs! The people we know, the people who support and who are around us are God’s gift to us. God didn’t create us to be alone but rather he designed us to work in relationships and to encourage, to build one another up but also to challenge and to stretch one another. Ultimately the disciples had to rely on God but being with another believer helped them to stay on track.
In our advertising saturated society, it feels like there is a sometimes and emphasis or suggestion that we should prioritize possessions over people.
Jesus said that the two greatest commands are to love God and to love one another.
Do our priorities and the way that we spend our time and energy show that these are the two most important things to us or does our lifestyle show that we love and are putting accumulating things first?
How do we feel about the church family that you are a part of. Would we rather have money and resources or people? Which of these does our hearts desire more?
People are more important than Possessions! I hope we all believe it?
Who are the people who have shaped our lives? As we give thanks for them, perhaps we should take the time to encourage them by thanking them for all that they have done and are doing for us?