Thoughts on Mark 6:7-13
You called the twelve together. Well that’s getting to be the norm, gathering us to hear your explanations of parables and such. This time is different. You’re sending us out, (wait a minute, me? Matthew? the former tax collector?) and you’re telling us we have the same authority as you do over unclean spirits! What?? I’ve watched them tremble before you, rant, rage and scream at you. I’ve witnessed you cast them into a thousand pigs who ran off a cliff. And now you are telling me I have this same authority?
You send us out to the surrounding villages with very specific instructions. It must be a short journey since you tell me to only take my staff and my sandals. No food, no money, no backpack, no change of clothing. I’m to stay at the home of folks who welcome me, and if they won’t offer me hospitality, I’m to leave with a warning. OK.
So, I do what I’ve seen Jesus do, I tell people they need to change their way of living. Most of what they’ve been doing is contrary to the things Jesus talks about. God isn’t just about keeping the rules, he cares about your everyday life, your withered hand, your donkeys that need water, your hunger between meals. He looks beyond your actions and what you have to do to survive and sees the true you, the you that longs for purpose and belonging. He calls you friend. I find that as I talk about these things I truly believe them. My voice takes on authority, I’m speaking from experience, not theory. I get excited about the task.
I cast out demons and anoint the sick with oil. People are relieved and made well. It’s awesome.
All right, Lord. Here’s my takeaway, I am to speak to others what you have spoken to me. As I do so, the person that is converted is me. I buy what I’m selling, to put it coarsely.
You do care about the places in my life that are withered and dry, you want me to experience life fully.
The chores I must carry out to make life run smoothly matter to you. You bless me as I tend to my business and my family.
You want to feed me with food that satisfies and nourishes at all times.
You know the compromises I’ve made, the corners I’ve cut to ensure my well-being and you call me to leave these behind and trust you to make sure I’m provided for and befriended.
It’s all awesome. Thank you and amen.