Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Authority To Change The World
This passage forms the kernel of what is explained more in depth in Matthew 10. Jesus transfers his authority to the disciples and they are able to perform wondrous acts. This shows the people in Judea and Galilee that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Something with this level of authority must be rooted in a tremendous power. However, the power is not one of military might, or physical prowess. Jesus was no wimp, but his ministry was based in the power of truth and righteousness, not arrogance and self-interest. This same power and authority has been part of the kingdom for centuries. However, we rationalize it away and we become distracted by the toils and the cares of this world. In Chicago people are too busy building petty kingdoms and dynasties that seem magnificent in their opulence. However, the disciples would not be awed by our power structures. Their heroes were not the heroes of our culture. In fact, they would tell such people to repent. Then when the inevitable scorn is revealed toward the meek, they shake the dust off their sandals and go and inherit the earth. Our heroes are just buried in it.
We have been given the authority that Jesus had. Surely that should change the world.
When I think of the world, I often think, “Who am I?” It’s a good question. My existence is contingent on the existence of Another. My days are numbered by One who has authority to give length of life and shorten it. I am prone to still walk in sinful paths and lose myself in the darkness. Yet, in a mad move You have given me your authority. I have the Truth of Your message. I have the secret and the mystery of life living in me, which is Christ. Is it arrogant to follow a bold calling to proclaim truth? Or is it more arrogant to stand in opposition of the Truth, to dictate that there is no authority and to really try and generate truth to live by in a bankrupt soul. save us from the counterfeit authority we drum up in ourselves whilst denying its very existence. Let us trust in You and walk boldly without the defeat of self-obsession.
- What is the most important thing Jesus gives his disciples before sending them out?
- How is the world better for the disciples?
- Why didn’t Jesus do all his work himself?
- Does Jesus transfer his authority to us?
- How are we meant to go out like the twelve in twos?