The Mission of the Twelve
Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
This is the first time I am re-using a Psalms image but it was just perfect for what I heard in this passage. I would not have traveled well with Jesus I don’t think. My wife will tell you that I am an obsessive trip planner – I have things all scheduled out, copies of everything printed, lists made, and so forth. One thing that I have only done once and we ended up sleeping in a taco bed as a result was traveling without a hotel reservation. I have relaxed a bit in the last few years, but I am definitely a Myers-Briggs J when it comes to trips. I don’t think Jesus was a J. At least here, he definitely was. J’s would not like Jesus’ ideas here – travel without food in case you are hungry, money to pay for what you need, no reservations at the local motel…yikes. To me, the blank page without plans sketched out just doesn’t feel good.
I understand though why Jesus did it – there’s a powerful learning here for the disciples and for us. God calls us to “Go” and says “I will provide.” I will provide your food. I will provide your place to stay. I will provide what you need. Interestingly the primary things Jesus tells them to take are a staff / walking stick, sandals on their feet, and one outfit to wear. The bare minimums of what was going to be needed. Emphasis upon needed.
Again…the J in me…I am a horrible over-packer. What if I need another shirt? What if that pair of shoes gets wet? What about an extra charging cable? Jesus reminds us…I will provide. Just stay in the center of my will. I will provide.