Chapter 22

Serving in God’s team
Mark 6:7-13 (NASB)

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7 And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs; and He was giving them authority over the unclean spirits; 8 and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belt; 9 but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” 10 And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11 “And any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake off the dust from the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 And they went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.    

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Mark 6:7-11
Jesus calls His twelve apostles

‘Apostle’ means someone who is sent. Jesus now calls and sends His twelve apostles to preach and teach His message. They will perform special tasks, never to be repeated in history. God’s Holy Spirit will inspire them and their close associates to write the New Testament, thus completing God’s written word, the Bible. Earlier God’s Holy Spirit moved men to write the Old Testament.[1] The whole true Christian church will be built on God’s self-revelation through them. Jesus will identify them to their hearers as God’s apostles by miraculous signs. They will be His unique messengers laying the foundation of the New Testament church.

Right now, Jesus sends out the apostles in twos and empowers them to cast out unclean spirits. They will be noticed as they share God’s word.  They must carry minimum baggage and only take a staff, useful for walking or protection from wild animals or mad dogs. They must take no bread, bag, money, change of clothing, or strong shoes—only sandals. They are to assess their hearers’ response by the hospitality offered to them. Those receiving God’s word will welcome them into their homes. When unwelcome they must shake the dust from their feet to warn their rejecters of the grave danger of not responding to God’s word. Unless there is real repentance eternal judgement will follow.[2] Perhaps the dramatic act of shaking the dust from their feet will cause some, to think, repent, and turn to God later?

Mark 6:12-13
The twelve apostles go out to preach

At Jesus’ command the apostles go out and preach. They pass on His message, namely that God commands sinners to repent. Repentance means being so sorry for disobeying God and hurting others that you ask for His forgiveness, deliberately turning your back on everything wrong in your life. Repentance becomes a pattern to continue to follow by God’s grace and help. If you repent and trust Jesus as your Saviour, you surrender your right to go your own sinful way. From now on you will accept His Lordship over how you live your life in the future. Repentance is like leaving a train going in the wrong direction, in order to catch one going to the right destination. You leave your sinful ways and ask God to help you follow Him. God demands that attitude of repentance in order to cleanse you from your sins and enter your life as your Lord and Saviour. Because Jesus took your condemnation and death sentence on Himself and rose again, you receive His risen life and live for Him. One day you will spend eternity with Him in Heaven.[3]

As the apostles go and preach, Jesus’ plan is working. They will use Christ’s authority and power to cast out demons and heal. Open minded listeners will recognise they speak with divine authority as they speak for Jesus. Today Christian speakers do not perform similar dramatic miracles but demonstrate Christ’s authority by preaching God’s word, the Bible, in the power of the Holy Spirit. They preach His gospel, which is God’s power to save.[4] There is no greater power than that which raises to new and eternal life those who are dead in sin!

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[1]    .  2 Peter 1:21.
[2]    .  Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5.
[3]    .  John 14:1-6.
[4]    .  Romans 1:16.

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Questions on Chapter 22
Mark 6:7-13 Serving in God’s team.

A. What advantages can you think of in the twelve disciples going out in pairs to preach, rather than alone?   Mark 6:7   Luke 22:8    Acts 3:1-11    Acts 8:14   Galatians 2:9

B. How is shaking the dust from the soles of the disciples’ feet a testimony against those who will not receive or listen to God’s message through them?   Mark 6: 10-12    Matthew 7:6

C. On what does the preaching of the twelve disciples now focus? What does God enable them to do to demonstrate that they are serving the Son of God in preaching His truth?   Mark 6:12    2 Corinthians 12 Acts 14:3    Acts 4:30   Romans 15:9   Mark 13:21-22   Matthew 16:4