Summary: Jesus sends out the 12
July 11,2021 Mark 6:7-13
7 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
“I can’t do it!”, said the little three year old girl as her daddy put her on the new bike she received for her birthday. “Don’t worry! The training wheels will keep you up.”, her father said. “But I can’t steer,” she replied. “I’ll steer for you.” It was of no avail. No matter how hard the father tried, the girl just wasn’t ready to ride her bike yet. Ever been there? Either as a parent or a child, I’m sure you have. Whether it was trying a new food or riding a new bike or going out on a date for the first time - it’s always the most difficult to do it the first time. After that - it gets easier and easier. Why is the first time always the most difficult? Because we are afraid we are going to mess up. We aren’t sure as to what we’re doing. We’re going beyond the known to the unknown - and we don’t know what to expect.
Imagine how difficult it would have been for the 12 disciples - then - to receive their first real call from Jesus! Here they had been following Jesus up to this point - watching him do the talking and the healing - soaking up His wisdom and knowledge like a bunch of sponges. But then - while they were still green recruits, Jesus turned to them and said, “Now it’s your turn!” You could imagine the hair stand up on the back of these uneducated fishermen’s heads - wondering, “how are we going to do it?!?” Jesus knew their reservations - their fears. And he knows ours as well. But He doesn’t just send us out naked to the wolves.
Jesus Equips Us for Our Calls in Life
I. With sidekicks
The first thing God equips us with is companions or what is known as “sidekicks”. There have been some famous sidekicks throughout time - Batman always had Robin, Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen, Sonny had Cher, Regis had Kathie Lee - the list goes on - of people that worked well together. The Bible also has many examples of sidekicks - both good and bad. David had Jonathan. Moses had Aaron. King Ahab had Jezebel.
For some reason, God basically has “hard wired” us for a need of companionship. As Adam named all of the animals, “Mr. and Mrs. Bear, Mr. and Mrs. Giraffe,” he soon noticed that he had no suitable companion for himself. And even God Himself stated that out all of the wonderfully good things about creation, it was “not good” that man was alone. Ecclesiastes 4:10-12 says, If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Man has a built in need for companionship. When Paul was arrested, he wanted and needed someone to be by his side. But what happened? He wrote to Timothy in his second letter, At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane - He asked the disciples - His friends - to stand by His side. But what happened? Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked.
And so, when Jesus sent his 12 disciples out on their first mission - He knew not to send them out alone. Like the animals on the ark He sent them out “two by two.” In this way, when they were rejected - and they would be - they could stand by each other’s side. Together they could shake the dust off their feet - signifying that they would not carry the guilt of their rejection with them - they were dusting themselves of any connection with such a wicked city. Together they could encourage one another not to give up. Jesus knew that especially at the beginning of their ministries they would need to feed off of one another.