Jesus gathered them together. The ‘twelve’ probably wondered what was next. They had been with Him for a while. They had witnessed miracles by His hand. Been eye witnesses to the multitudes of people who came to hear Him teach. Now Jesus called them to Him for some kind of closed door ‘huddle’. “What would He say?” some of them wondered. These disciples were still young men and in awe of their Rabbi.
They moved in close as Jesus looked into their faces and smiled. His smile warmed them, made them feel accepted and loved. Then He blessed them. Any disciple would be honored to be blessed by their teacher. Yet He went beyond the customary blessings. He gave them authority. With hands raised and face lifted up, Jesus granted them power and authority over all demons and diseases. Then, He lowered His gaze and looked once more into their eyes. He spoke to them and gave them instructions to go and preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Jesus sent them out to do what He had been doing. They had been witnesses of His words and deeds and now the disciples were to go and emulate the Teacher. There was a flutter in the stomach. A tinge of nervousness in the air. The young men had been instructed to go. They had been instructed to preach and to heal. A few wary looks were exchanged. Someone coughed nervously.
Jesus wasn’t done though. He gave them additional instructions; “Take nothing for the journey, neither staff nor bag, nor bread, nor money…don’t even pack an extra tunic.” (Luke 9:3)
Jesus sent His disciples out with nothing yet everything that they would need. He granted them a kind of authority only the Son of God could grant. They went and did as He had instructed. Some most likely encountered strong resistance. Others witnessed the mighty moving of God through their faithfulness. Every disciple who was sent learned something in their ‘sending out.’
This on-the-field training of the disciples was a turning point for them. They didn’t have it all together yet. But they went. Jesus empowered them in their sending out. He gave them what they needed most: authority and experience.
Still to this day Jesus is calling us out. He is calling us to step up. He wants to use us for His purposes and to preach the kingdom of God! The authority is His, but the ability to go is ours. Will you go where He sends you? He doesn’t send us out empty handed, but He gives us what we need for the mission! When you say ‘yes’ step up and go! Don’t be afraid or fearful of what others might think…He is sending you because He believes in you!
“So they (the disciples) departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” (Luke 9:6)
A prayer chorus comes to mind:
“For thy mission make me holy,
For thy glory make me thine,
Sanctify each moment fully,
fill my life with love divine.”