We’re on a Mission From God

That iconic phrase that propelled Jake and Elwood on their hilarious adventures could also be applied to the earliest disciples who were sent out by Jesus to advance His cause in the passage we’ll be reading this Sunday.  Luke 9:1-6 will be the text for our study.

This was essentially the very first missions trip.  it was a precursor to the Great Commission issued by Jesus at the close of His earthly ministry.  As we read these few verses, we can sort of grasp at the nature of our own mission as the church today.  What can you observe about the mission Jesus has called His followers to in these instructions given to the disciples?  Where does power and authority come from, what is it power to do, what are the specific instructions about how to live among those we are sent to?

His commands seem strange and rather culturally specific, it may be hard to relate this passage to our present experiences.  Do this: consider what it meant to the disciples who had to live it out…what would it have looked like in THEIR experience, then make the closest possible connection with our present culture.  For instance, Jesus told them “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics…” .  Now, these are not what we would call travel essentials in our day, but for the traveler in ancient Palestine, it was important equipment for the road.  Why would Jesus limit what they carried…what was his point, do you think?  Once the possible reason is established, then imagine what that principle would look like in our present world as we carry OUR mission out.

Share your thoughts!  See you on Sunday.  Oh yeah, if you tweet, don’t forget to follow @eastgatepcb .

3 comments

  1. As I read your instructions, I thought how do we apply this to today? Go with nothing. Could he possibly mean NOTHING. Obviously the nothing refers to wordly or earthly things. Then I thought of Ford and Melissa. It would be interesting in the context of this passage to find out how they are reducing what they currently have here to what little they will require for their mission. Just as Jesus tell the 12 to depend on what is provided along the way by those who hear, aren’t Ford and Melissa doing the same thing. Aren’t you?

    “Seek 1st the kingdom of God and all those things will be given to you.”

  2. A couple of things come to mind reading this. First, Jesus was using this as another opportunity to show his followers that he could be trusted to take care of them. The implied idea behind all of the “don’t take this or that” is that I (Jesus) will supply what you need. You focus on the message, nothing else.

    The same concept applies to us two thousand years later. Focus on the message and “he’ll take care of the rest” (thank you Keith Green). Cue the Bobby McFerrin (don’t worry, be happy). But maybe this is a warning in a way too. So many churches have invested lots of time and money in attempting to reimage and repackage themselves. It has become something where image is everything and the church with the best show wins. It’s a lot of work and sadly, you’re only as good as your last “performance”. Been there, done that, got lost in the fog and the lights.

    I think Jesus is saying something to us, (keeping the show motif going) — instead of the church being about lights and smoke and clothes and catchy guitar hooks and should we use real drums or V drums, maybe we’re supposed to be more like that guy that plays his scratched up Taylor on the corner, singing songs about his life. Not loud and brash demanding to be heard, instead letting our simple songs draw people to us (and then to him). That’s music that means something, it’s real. Maybe that’s all Jesus was trying to tell his followers then and now — be real, and leave the rest to me.

  3. I really like what spud and ubah have to say. Three thoughts occur to to me in this passage…

    First, I’m hit with a lot of internal resistance to Jesus’ instruction here (What? No trip planning? Not even the bare essentials? – translating into my 21st century Western culture – no cell phone, no motel reservations, no credit card just in case?).

    Second – My 21st century gut likes the idea of a “general” application of trusting God for my care & feeding, and trusting him as I go about my regular life to share my faith (while staying within my cultural envelope-keeping my cell phone, credit card, and pre-planning). Except when I look into what Rob suggested [consider what it meant to the disciples who had to live it out…what would it have looked like in THEIR experience…] – I’m back to my first “internal resistance”.

    Finally – perhaps I don’t need to ignore the hard part of what Jesus is saying specifically to the disciples, but also don’t need to become a traveling street evangelist living off the land, and don’t need to “sanitize” it for my “very generally trust God to take care of me” western cultural preferences. The disciples obeyed Jesus (as near as we can determine) – but didn’t leave for extended trips to remote parts of the Roman empire (although that was coming later…) – they simply kept it local and real and relevant. They came back to Jesus, traveled with him, visited Peter’s house, ate & drank and “made plans” for things like Passover.

    I guess what I’m trying to suggest (ask?) is that perhaps Jesus really wants us to hit the trenches, share the kingdom everyday (which doesn’t require a huge planning committee, fund raiser, or training conference) – trusting Him for everything – but these forays are typically local, where we’re planted, where we work, where we play, where we drink our coffee – then we come back (like the disciples did) and replenish, unpack, refocus, re-Trust and head out again. That’s not a one time pilgrimage of no food, no money, no coat street evangelism…it’s a continuous series of local, no food, no money, no coat forays into Kingdom sharing that adds up into a life style and life long adventure that we regularly come back from to share with, strengthen, and gain strength from…our Family.

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