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His Purpose, His People

SUFFERING KING: THE BOOK OF MARK:
His Purpose, His People: Mark 6:7-13
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday May 24, 2020

1) Descriptive, not prescriptive, 2) with a nod to the future, 3) and on the heels of failure, Jesus would send them.

That is our passage today:

Descriptive, not prescriptive, with a nod to the future, and on the heels of failure, Jesus would send them.

Describing what happened. Not prescribing how missions should occur today. But giving some lasting principals about life on mission, for Christ.

maybe, on a low note of their recent ministry. He’d give them odd instruction and through it all they’d learn a lesson that passes on through to us.

We’ll look at Jesus’ ministry, then it’s partial completion in Paul, then consider ourselves in a reflection from ministry success through a rough patch in Paul’s own ministry. Paul reflects in 2 Corinthians 4:

2 Corinthians 4:8–11

8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Mark 6:7–13 (ESV)
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.

1) This is descriptive not prescriptive. You aren’t given this authority. This is to the Apostle/Disciples. These disciples have been extended the ability to, as Mark says have authority over unclean spirits. The other gospels may give a more fully fleshed list, we called Mark’s gospel utility, and in that form he gives the highest order of authority they were given, and assumes the lesser. Can expel demons, and heal sickness is implied. Ya’ll can boot out demons, but colds are off limits would be weird. Mark want’s not to distract from the important elements of Jesus’ commands, he doesn’t want to distract us with long lists of un-important details, he want’s us to see the aim o the disciples.

8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—
9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.

Take nothing for their journey… 2) There is a nod to the future here. We’re to rely on God and to point to His kingdom for others gain, not use His kingdom for ours.

Remember Mark’s gospel is light weight, fast moving, sometimes light on detail but to the point. If we look to Matthew 10 and Luke 9 we’ll see this account with more flesh on the bones of the story. They’re instructed not to take additional items. If you use a walking stick, great bring it, don’t worry about going out for a new one or bringing and extra, shoes, same, etc. Jesus is saying, go as you are.

He removes the common, ‘hold on imma’, excuse.

There is something I need to do Imma be right back, I need to… nope, you’re good, just go.

Also, he doesn’t want his disciples showing up with that new robe smell. He doesn’t want them looking like the first week of school, you know back when kids wen’t to school and interacted with each other. That first week of school everyone looked like the inside of a Kohls flier…. New everything head to toe – tags on their pant legs, everything was all stiff and new. He didn’t want His disciples looking like that – and they weren’t going to trade up either:

So, as we start to read about how Jesus sent his first disciples, these Apostles, into the world around them it’s important to see a) what that world was like and b) how he did that.

There would have been many philosophers and teachers traveling through towns in Jesus’ time.

They’re not going to trade up, which would have been easy. Maybe you’ve heard of Kyle MacDonald?

He was a blogger who documented his journey trading from a single red paper clip, across 14 trades organized online over one year. He wanted a house but didn’t want or have a job, so he looked at the repaper clip on his desk and decided he’d use that. His first trade for the red paper clip was a fish shaped pen, which moved up to a doorknob, later to a snowmobile, then a box truck and ultimately for a house.

How – I don’t know, people love to be a part of a good story, catch some fame maybe? Be a part of something quirky. Jesus mission for these 12 wasn’t that, it had a specific, focus and end. It wasn’t about trading up, it wasn’t about accommodations or travel amenities, in fact travel details would be provided on the fly – lets see what he says:

10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there.

Why?

The secret of the red paper clip is people aren’t into his red paper clip or a fish pin where is camp stove or his box truck. He’s a neat personality, with a cool publicized story.

They wanted to be part of his story.

Jesus doesn’t want people part of his story, or to advance their fame, his concern for us so do vastly bigger that he doesn’t want those things to be a detractor or a distraction. He want’s our story blended by His, redefined by His, and consumed by His. His purposes, His lovingness, His character and nature, and His kingdom.

When his Disciple/Apostles come into a town and find lodging, but start being the guys healing people and exercising demons, possibly people will want to pay them for their services. Give them better lodging so that they’d be indebted to them, maybe they’d want some side benefit of housing the Apostles. And they could be in a position of not sharing of the gospel, but sharing in the gospel. Gaining from it’s fame, gaming it’s power for their better position, and robbing Christ of His glory and His kingdom-people from seeing his purposes in his people.

There is a lasting principle in this story, not how do we send disciples, or why twos, but how does the watching world see His purposes in His people

When we repent, which was the message of the Disciple/Apostles, we turn from trusting our own understanding to trusting Jesus mission, following after His ways, seeing after His father’s will, and finding our satisfaction in Him.

It is so interesting to glance like a tennis game between Jesus and Paul. Jesus builds the kingdom to come, Paul starts to walk it out, and points to the future kingdom. Because the Jesus’ kingdom Here and now, as much as it is there and then.

Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 4:

2 Corinthians 4:8–11

8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

In this 2nd letter to the Corinthians the church had report of infighting and divisions and quarrels but had repented maybe as a result of the letter that we don’t have record of mentioned in 2 Corinthians 7:8 where he said, “sorry not sorry” and hinted that the letter was painful!

2 Corinthians 7:8 (ESV)
8 For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.
We have a current hope and joy, being blended into Jesus life and a future hope and joy, life forever in His glory, in His new creation, His new Kingdom-earth and heavens, one without tears.

And so with that purpose in mind, total blending in with Jesus Kingdom, with eternal consequences in scope, Jesus says:

11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”

3) and on the heels of failure, Jesus would send them.

They’re just coming off of this very experience, aren’t they? And in Jesus own home town, they’re operating on the heels of failure! They’ve gone from town-to-town with Jesus. Making sick people well and casting out demons and they come to Jesus’ hometown and everyone distracts themselves from truth with silliness. Peter’s mother in law’s home had the roof torn open with people desperate to get to Jesus. Through starting their own journey on the heels of Jesus’ failure, in the trough of a crested high (restoring life to someone who’d died) the disciples would learn to trust God, and trust the message, not trust the outcomes.

They’d go on this journey without anything extra, just what they had. They’d not “trade up” for better lodging, or make money on the journey they’d just proclaim the Kingdom and they’d trust God with all the outcomes. Nothing fancy, nothing flashy, nothing needed – everything provided.

12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.
13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

This the the summery of their actions – they proclaimed that people should “repent” just like Mark’s gospel started in 1:4 with John, repentance is interesting and key to the entire new testament revelation. It can describe a regret, but it isn’t guilt. I describes the action of change and the reflection back against the pre changed person.

Mark 1:4 (ESV)
4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

It’s a looking to something with faith to be trusted because the outcome of our previous ways and works were less than God’s high mark fo character. It’s clearer once we’re redeemed and we begin sanctification, and it is something we marvel at over the course of our entire lives.

Repentance is our turning from trusting ourselves and turning to trusting Christ, for everything. Its exemplified in the call to the Disciple/Apostles to bring nothing – God would provide for their mission and way.

They were to live a live that pointed to God, to Jesus’ mission and God’s gospel of repentance for salvation. This would change the entire course of peoples lives, leave an indelible mark on the world that lasts still today, and pave the way for the Church to blast forward into a world of sin and offer something better to hope in, hope its self – Jesus.

Seeing his purposes in his people.

Descriptive is Mark 6:7-13, not prescriptive. With a nod to the future, and on the heels of failure, Jesus would send’s them out to learn to show His purposes through His people.

That’s our lasting principal. Can you have a new waling stick, or a pair of tunics, or fly first class or a money belt or plan for your future with a retirement fund – yes. That wasn’t to you, you’re not a 1st century Disciple/Apostle ushering in the Kingdom of God into a world to whom it’s new.

Those are potentially abusive applications, certainly distracting applications, to what Jesus was doing.

However, can we learn to live our lives in ways that show Jesus purposes for the Gospel message, and do so as His collective people.

Yes, and there is the real power!

This is the entire mission of the Church. A gathered people who come to gather for one single purpose, not personal gain, not a social club, not a place to meet guys or meet chicks, but for worship. Worship of a God who is all powerful creator, who is glorious, who has a powerfully great news – who gives newness of life and excitement and purpose to live that is worthy of an outflowing of appreciation and praise we can only describe as, worship!

For whom or affections and lives are lived out – God.

The glorious father of Jesus who is the precious lamb of life, who lived for us, and advocates for us – we then live as joyful people who’s gaze towards God should be not only noticeable but captivating. Our gaze of worship, and zeal for life should draw others in to ask, what is that?

Our gathering of eclectic people around mutual adoration and worship should make people skip a beat and say – who are these people, and our un-equivocating point should be to the praise of God’s glory and that is His purposes in His people, that we live as free full of joy and worshipful, sharing His great news – that Jesus is messiah and conquered death and makes us new!

So from Jesus, to Paul, to you – be encouraged Kingdom people of God –

2 Corinthians 4:8–11 (ESV)

8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Mark 6:7-13 Describes what happened. Doesn’t prescribing how missions should occur today. But does give lasting principals about life on mission, for Christ.

Let’s be that, this week!

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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