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The Sending of a Disciple

Discipled to Disciple

So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them. - Mark 6:12-13

When Jesus called the twelve, three purposes are given. First was that they might be with Him. From that day forward they were just that, with Him when He preached, when He healed, when He worked miracles, when He taught in parables and when He explained things so they would understand His person and purpose. They had seen and learned a lot. But that was not the end game. They had been with Him for the express purpose of proclaiming the truth they learned to others.

Imagine! Jesus was sending them out to find people of peace, people who would receive the message of forgiveness by faith in Jesus, people they had never met before. They were to go city to city and door to door. They were to put themselves “out there.” This was a kind of advance movement, symbolizing in a way, what would be their life purpose after the resurrection, “making disciples of every nation!”

This commission was given them before the cross, before the resurrection and before the Holy Spirit was given. Yet it was so central to the mission of a disciple it could not wait! It is as if Jesus was saying: “Don’t even think for a minute that your job is to walk through life with me and learn about how awesome the life of faith can be so you can enjoy my peace and joy and power. If you stop there, you haven’t got a clue about why I called you to follow me. I called you to call others!”

So the followers became preachers. I don’t think it was easy. It took all the faith they could muster to move from watchers to doers, from hearers to preachers, from receivers of peace to givers. Somehow they bought into the idea that great blessing requires great sacrifice, great gifts require great willingness to give and great experience requires great testimony.

After all Jesus came to mankind with no other motivation but love. He offered nothing but mercy and grace. Everything the twelve had they had received as a free gift. Jesus sent them out to give what they had been given. How could they do any less?

All of the instruction surrounding their mission emphasized the truth that where God guides, He also supplies. They could trust Him every step of the way for the mission He had entrusted to them. That was and is the point! 

The twelve followed through. They preached that people should repent. I am convinced that repentance is a change of mind about the ultimate realities of life. It is forsaking whatever was once thought concerning God, sin, forgiveness, righteousness and eternal life and, instead, embracing the truth of the gospel as the only way. When we call people to repent, we are asking them to forsake whatever they once believed concerning these things and turn to Jesus crucified and risen.

I truly admire the twelve who went out in faith to preach a message that was as yet incomplete in terms of its ultimate realization. They went out of shear obedience to the one who sent them. How can we who know the entire story, who have embraced its certainty for ourselves as the only means of life eternal and abundant, who have received the Holy Spirit who provides insurmountable power for our witness, do any less!

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