We live in a world that has its eye on measurable results, don’t we? I think Jesus did too, although he doesn’t say so when he sends out the twelve (Mark 6:8-11). He focuses instead on what they are to do to pull off the assignment: “take nothing for the journey except a staff…”
Mark, brief though his account is, gives us the results (vs. 12-13): “They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Further on in the chapter we hear this in verse 30: “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.” Can you imagine the scene? The excitement? Then next we read that “so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat.” Ministering to others can be like that, you know?
In his message on Sunday, Pastor Sean reminded us that the disciples’ experience of exciting results followed some disappointing results that “amazed” Jesus in his hometown. (Keep in mind that Jesus is amazed at both peoples’ faith and lack of faith in the gospels.) And then Pastor Sean said, “We already have a message, but we often don’t take advantage of the power and potential we have.” In other words, we don’t realize that the same results Jesus was told about by the disciples, he expects from us!
Most of us have come to put our trust in doctors for healing, haven’t we? And as one who has become well acquainted with many doctors and their gifts of mercy and their commitment to healing, I think that trust is well-founded. But how much greater is the potential for healing when our trust in modern medicine is coupled with “the prayer offered in faith!” (James 5:15) The disciples used the power and authority they were given by Jesus, and history has shown us the measurable results through the ages – two billion Christians as of 2010. Now it’s our turn to remember that the job has come to us!