One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
I can’t help but wonder what the disciples were thinking and feeling just before Jesus sent them out to do ministry. Jesus calls them together, gives them authority, and then tells them what to take and what not to take. And they do it. The text doesn’t tell us what they were thinking or feeling as Jesus sent them on their way. The disciples responded with obedience. We don’t know if they were nervous, excited, or scared. All the text makes us aware of is that they went and that they did as Jesus instructed. It is a reminder that our thoughts and feelings aren’t always God’s first priority when He calls us to faithfulness. That can be a tough pill to swallow for us because we are frequently taught that the only thing that matters is how we think and feel. It would be easy to see the mission Jesus gave to them as a burden instead of as an opportunity because of the discomfort that it may cause.
Most of us love a good adventure story. We like the drama and the twists, turns, and tensions of the story. I think we love these stories so much because we long to live a life of adventure. We all want to be able to tell a great story about a life well lived. Imagine the great stories the disciples had to share about how they exercised their faith in preaching, healing, and casting out demons. I suspect the disciples were nervous and afraid like the rest of us would be. They didn’t give in to the fear. The disciples answered the call despite whatever fears they may have had and they changed the lives of the people that they encountered.
I can’t help but notice that we are called to the same kind of adventure too. Jesus gives us a mission in Matthew 28 and in Acts 1 to go out and to make more disciples. Are you going to live that adventure in faithfulness?