Summary: Have you ever heard the acronym K.I.S.S.? It means “Keep it simple, Stupid.” Jesus sent his disciples on a mission and he want them to keep it simple.
26 – Keeping It Simple
September 13, 2020
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TEXT: Mark 6:6-13 – "And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. 7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. 10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."
Have you ever heard the acronym K.I.S.S. before? It means, “Keep it simple, stupid” or “Keep it simple, silly” and Wikipedia gives about three other variations of what it stands for. They all pretty much mean the same thing and are a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle, according to Wikipedia, states that “most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore, simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.”
In the Christian life we sometimes greatly complicate things while Jesus often reduces things to their bare simplicity. Illus. – This is illustrated by an Andy Griffeth episode titled “The Sermon for Today.” They all went to church one Sunday when there was a guest preacher all the way from New York City who preached on “What’s Your Hurry.”
Mayberry was a pretty slow-paced place, but this preacher was preaching from his perspective in stressful, busy New York. He waxed eloquent on how everybody is on the run these days, and how we don’t slow down an enjoy the pleasures of the past…a stress-free breakfast or a relaxing band concert on the village green. He ended saying, “We should strive to recapture this simple pleasure. And so, I say to you my dear friends, ‘Relax. Slow down. Take it easy.’”
Now I don’t know what that has to do with the Gospel, but this was an Andy Griffeth episode after all, not a Billy Graham crusade, so hang with me for a minute. After Sunday lunch, everybody decides to try to put the sermon into practice, so they plan a concert on the village green that very evening. Of course, they have to repair the bandstand, mend the band uniforms, and rehearse the band. As you can imagine, they spend the next few frantic hours working feverishly to get to the point where they could slow down, until they give up, worn out and exhausted. The comical point of the show was that it’s good to simplify, but you ruin it if you have to work too hard to simplify.
In today’s text, we’ll see how Jesus sends out his disciples, but He gives them simple instructions and a simple message. Let’s dig in.
I. FIRST, WE SEE THAT JESUS EXTENDS HIS MINISTRY IN VERSES 6-7 – “And he marveled because of their unbelief. Then he went about the villages, teaching. 7 And he called the twelve, and began to send them out two by two; and gave them power over unclean spirits”
You’ll recall that in verses 1-6, Jesus had returned to His hometown of Nazereth, and rather than cheering for their hometown hero, the only one in Jewish history to rise to prominence, they rejected Him and did not believe in Him. After their reaction, Jesus was not deterred—He just extended His ministry further out.
First, verses 6 tells us that He just went about the villages teaching, reinforcing that fact that communicating truth by his teaching and preaching was His main goal.
Demon exorcisms and miraculous healings were a response to human suffering, but mainly they were meant to be validation of His power and authority as God. Jesus kept it simple: the important thing with Him was always teaching and preaching. Doing good to help others and performing miracles did not necessarily challenge observers to commitment. Observers might be impressed, but often miracles did not challenge them to consider the significance of these events in their lives personally. Teaching gave Jesus a way to present a clearer and more precise picture of who He was and what His mission was, leading to greater understanding and more chances of people responding in faith in and commitment to Jesus.