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Summary: PENTECOST 8(B) - July 14, 2002 - When Jesus sends out His harvest workers He provides them with His divine call and with His holy Word.

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JESUS SENDS OUT HARVEST WORKERS

MARK 6: 6b--13 July 14, 2002

6b Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 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. (NIV)

Dearest fellow-redeemed and saints in the Lord:

Many great things and really just about every great thing in this world have started from a very small beginning. One example is in our text this morning?that we think of the spread of Christianity as it has gone almost throughout the entire world?that it started here with Jesus? that it started here with His fellow apostles and today we see how they were sent out on their first training mission. Also we see when seeds are planted, a very small beginning and we wonder what will happen with them. And yet they grow, there?s a harvest and today we have the fruits of our labors before us. And so it is today that we heard in our lesson the seeds that are planted, the growth that is given through the power of God.

Those familiar words from Isaiah where he tells us the purpose of the rain, the snow, the purpose of the seed that grows is not just to provide seed for the sower, but also bread for the eater. From very small beginnings, great things happen.

In Corinthians, Paul re-echoes the words of the prophet Isaiah. He says, ?Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.? (2 CORINTHIANS 9:10) Today that?s really what we?re going to look at?how the Lord increases the harvest of our righteousness, how He leads us to appreciate the knowledge of salvation and the gift of faith that He has given to each one of us. So we want to examine the fact that Jesus sends out His harvest workers and really in the same sense, Jesus provides for His harvest workers:

I. With a divine call

II. With His powerful Word

The words of our text take place following the text we had two weeks ago--not last week, but the week before. If we remember the beginning of chapter 6 of the Gospel of Mark, we see that Jesus went back to His hometown to visit friends and relatives. Jesus went to preach in the synagogue, but the people did not receive Him. They did not welcome Him back, and Jesus said only a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. So He was a bit disappointed, but did that stop Jesus? No it did not. We are told as our text begins that Jesus went around teaching from village to village. We realize that there were other villages, other people, people that needed to hear the message of salvation. But also as He went around preaching and teaching, and even though He was the Son of God, he realized that this task would take more than one person, that this task of planting the seed until the Lord?s harvest would come was a big task.

And so we?re told how He sends out His disciples. He sends them out first with a call?He says ?calling the twelve to Him?. Now we remember that the disciples were already called weren?t they? Peter and his brothers were called away from their father?s fishing business, Matthew was called away from his occupation of being a tax collector, and so it went. The rest of the disciples called away from their walk of life as it were, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

But now He gives them another call?a call not only just to follow Him, but a call to go out and serve Him by telling others about Him. And so we?re told, ?calling the twelve to Him, He sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. ? A couple of things here?there?s twelve disciples, they went out by twos, so there?s six groups that went out in six different directions to cover the area to go out to spread the gospel message.

He sends them two by two for a number of reasons?first of all that they would keep one another company. They could encourage one another whenever they became discouraged, and also for the simple reason that there would be testimony of two people instead of one which was a carry-over from the Old Testament times.

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