What might you leave behind?
This is actually the passage that precedes yesterday’s story of the miraculous feeding:
Jesus 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
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. (Mark 6:7-13)
Jesus gives his disciples the authority to carry out exactly the same ministry that he has
• Most of his preparation for them is negative.
• He tells them what not to bring with them: no bread, no bag, no money, no extra tunic,
• But amazing things happen through the work of these very ordinary disciples:
“…they…proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed
with oil many who were sick and cured them.” In short, they carry out the mission of
The disciples are sent out without anything to buffer them from their own neediness.
• They have no extra supplies for contingencies that may arise.
• They will have to depend upon the generosity of strangers for their food, their place to
stay, their safety.
• Their story reminds me of that of a friend of mine who also served people in a setting
in which he had little privacy and few possessions. He said: “I felt as though I had no
I wonder how the disciples were changed by being the people who were touched by the
poor and the sick, by depending upon God’s economy of generosity, by doing without
things they had probably begun to take for granted as necessary.
Questions for Reflection
• What would the ministry of Jesus look like in the context of your life (your workplace,
your family, your community)?
• What sorts of things might you need to put down as you seek you deepen your
discipleship? Preconceived ideas or prejudices? Defenses? Reliance upon things or
In the spirit of today’s session, take some time for silence, putting down even the customary words that you use to address God. Let yourself simply receive God’s presence to you beyond words, and open your heart in gratitude. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amen.