Summary: “So they went out and preached that people should repent And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them” Mark 6:12-13.

Theme: Go tell my people

Text: Amos 7:12-15; Eph. 1:3-14; Mk. 6:7-13

Life always follows a very basic pattern. It consists of first learning and then putting into practice what has been learnt. A baby first learns how to walk and then puts into practice what he or she has learnt by actually taking a few steps and after further practice runs with such speed that most parents are scared they would injure themselves. A child learns how to put on his clothes and shoes and after some time does it on his own without waiting for the mother’s help. The child grows up, goes to school, learns a profession and as an adult puts into practices what he or she has learnt to earn a living. It is the same with the tailor and the dressmaker, the caterer and the hairdresser, the mechanic and the plumber, the accountant and the lawyer, and it is the same with the nurse and the doctor. For almost every profession, after years of study and hard work, comes the day of graduation when one is conferred with a certificate or degree and given all the rights and privileges pertaining to that certificate or degree. To see if one has earned the degree, one must pass a series of examinations. In medicine for example, part of the degree programme is a series of clinical rotations where the student puts into practice what has been learnt. A student can learn many things from teachers and books and that knowledge can be graded but being able to put into practice what has been learnt is an entirely different matter. Part of the clinical rotation is to evaluate how the student is able to incorporate what he has learnt into actual practice as well as giving him the opportunity to learn those things that could not be taught in a classroom setting. In a similar manner the disciples had spent time in the classroom with Jesus and when the time came for them to put into practice what they had learnt Jesus sent them out with the command “go tell my people”.

Christ cannot send someone He has not first called and prepared through training. Jesus called His first disciples and trained them before sending them out into the world. The way Jesus dealt with His first disciples is the same way He deals with us today. He first calls us in order to establish a relationship, trains us and then sends us into the world. No one will send someone he has no relationship with to perform an important duty. In fact it would be foolishness to do so. The one who would be able to achieve the best results would be the one who is closest to you. Our relationship with Christ should be a very intimate one and this depends to a large extent on the time we spend with Him. The authority of Christ is only available to those who have an intimate relationship with Him and without His authority we cannot serve Him effectively if we are able to serve Him at all. How can you work using the name and the authority of someone you have no relationship with? As a medical student and as a houseman, I could only work in hospitals because of the authority given to me by my training institution and by my supervising doctors. In a similar manner the disciples could not go out into the world in their own power, they went out in the power and authority of God, given to them by Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ has called us to prepare us so that He can send us with the gospel into the world. When we heeded His call and became His followers the Holy Spirit marked us out for training. Christ then sent us with His plan for the spread of the gospel saying; "But you shall receive power when the HS has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." This plan is both simple and practical. First each believer is to be personally empowered by the Holy Spirit. Second, each believer thus empowered by the Holy Spirit, is by his personal testimony to win others to Christ. And finally, these others are in turn to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to win yet others to Christ. This way the testimony of Christ is to be extended outward from Jerusalem in ever widening circles of power until it has reached the end of the earth, until it has reached all nations, all races and all people. There is no alternative plan, which can accomplish the same result. Just imagine the world as a building about to be engulfed by fire and destroyed with everyone in it a prisoner in chains. There is no hope for those inside till the unimaginable happens. A miracle takes place and a unique person appears and enters the building. He overcomes the person keeping the prisoners captive and begins to set them free. Would those set free not be so grateful and thankful that they would help to set the others free? If each freed person would help free another person, it would be possible in a short time to set free all the occupants in the building. But if each person who is freed refuses to help free the others, many captives would perish in the fire. Christ has overcome the devil and freed us from bondage to sin. But He expects us to go out and free those who are still in bondage and are in danger of perishing. If we are Christ’s we will obey His commands since obedience is the test of a faithful servant. Are we obeying Christ’s command to go as His witnesses with the message of salvation?

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