These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 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.” (Mark 6:8-11)
Every mission requires:
- FAITH. We must rely on God to provide. With abundant resources, it is more difficult to trust God, but not impossible. Everything belongs to God.
- FELLOWSHIP. We must trust others to receive mutual benefit. In this example from scripture, one person provides shelter and the other provides peace. We are better together, and we need others to pursue God’s calling in our lives.
- INFLUENCE. We must make a difference by what we do. When the impact becomes minimal, the mission is finished.
One must be careful when interpreting narratives in scripture. On one hand, we cannot make everything into an allegory (“we must take a staff as a reminder that we lean upon God for strength.”) On the other hand, we cannot interpret the literal historical events as timeless princples (“No one doing the work of God can ever have an extra shirt…or money.”). Therefore we must take great care to make sure that other scriptures support our conclusions.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. (Deuteronomy 8:3-4)
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” (1 Corinthians 12:21)
Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6)
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:4-5)
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20)