Dave’s Devo: Multiplying Ministry
Suppose there are thirty major churches in Midlothian, my hometown. In each of them I need to make connections by attending a Sunday morning service. If I try to meet this challenge all by myself, it will take me more than half a year. And this assumes I don’t run into the usual scheduling conflicts. Now if I enlist twelve others to help me and send them out by twos, then I can get the job done in just five weeks, a sixth of the time. It’s obvious—develop a team, let them carry out the mission and effectiveness multiplies exponentially.
As God, Jesus could have put a divine microchip in our ears so that we would all get his message from heaven, but he chose to use us to get his message out. And this was true in the first century, just as it is true today. So Mark describes for us how Jesus gathered the Twelve to spend time with him, let them travel around Galilee with him and see how he ministered, and then called them to himself and told them now it was their turn. He gave them his authority over demons and disease and sent them out to challenge people to turn away from their sin to God and believe in him.
“Jesus was going around teaching in the villages, and he called to himself the Twelve. He began to send them out two by two giving them authority over the impure spirits. He instructed them that they should be taking nothing with them on the way except a staff—no bread, no leather traveler’s pouch, no coins in their belt. They were to put on sandals but not wear two tunics.
He also told them, ‘Whenever you enter into a home, remain there until you depart. If a place doesn’t receive you or listen, leave from there shaking the dust from your feet as a witness against them.’ So they left and proclaimed that folks should repent. They were exorcising many demons and anointing many who were sick with oil and they were being healed.” Mark 6:6-13
These ministry instructions were for a specific time and place—the Galilean campaign during the earthly life of Jesus. Later in the Book of Acts missionary teams will have more than two and they will take adequate supplies for their lengthy journeys. But the principle of multiplication by the development and empowerment of a team remains wise counsel. So does the need to rely upon Jesus’ authority as we seek to counter what Satan is doing to destroy lives and the need to challenge others to turn away from their sin to God, and to believe in his Son. Jesus called the disciples to be “fishers of men” and in this episode we see them doing exactly that.
LORD, help me to be a team player in your family, constantly working to empower the gifts of those around me and not trying to be a Lone Ranger when it comes to helping others discover who Jesus is and what he has done for us.
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