This is part 6 of a multi-part series on the book of Mark.

Today, we’re in Mark 6:7-13.

Relying on Hospitality

Jesus had done just enough teaching to begin pushing his disciples out to make mistakes, not on their own but with another (6:7)—surely for both encouragement and accountability.

He told them to take nothing with them but to rely on the generosity of others (6:8). They were to find a house to stay at, belonging to someone who would support them during their time (6:10). If any village weren’t willing to support them, they were considered unworthy of receiving them and they were to move on to another town after shaking the dust off their sandals in judgment toward the people of that place (6:11).

So off they went, proclaiming the Kingdom all over Galilee, calling everyone to repent (6:12). They had been given authority over unclean spirits (6:7) and were using it to cast out demons and heal (6:13). The Kingdom was moving forward and people were receptive.

Expecting Hostility

Fast forward to Luke 22:35-38. Jesus now tells his disciples, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” (Luke 22:35a). “Nothing,” they replied (Luke 22:35b). Jesus continued: “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36).

Hey! What gives, Jesus? Didn’t you earlier say that we should go out two by two and enjoy the hospitality of our hosts? Yes, but that was in Galilee. Now you will be going into Jerusalem, all of Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. There will now be hostility and hatred. The message will be far less accepted by the masses of these places than it was by the masses within Galilee. That’s why it started in Galilee, and that’s why it must go out from there.

Now there will be serious suffering. The pain of rejection will remain; but on top of it, will be persecution and death. The message will from henceforth go out on the backs of suffering servants. As Jesus carried his cross on his back, so must we carry ours.

“For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: And he was numbered with the transgressors. For what is written about me has its fulfillment” (Luke 22:37).

Witnessing for Jesus

While some in the world of missions claim that we should go out relying on the generosity of others from this very passage, it is important for us to realize that Jesus held this philosophy only for the time in which it applied, and then reversed it for a new time. We are now living in a Luke 22:35-38 world, where we should not expect friendliness to our message to abound. Instead, we endear ourselves to those around us by blessing them economically and earning the right to be heard. As we show them the beauty of the lifestyle of those who belong to God’s Kingdom, we expect the Spirit to work within them and draw some to himself. It is now through our work and our suffering that they will see and behold the mercies of God.

Greg is the President of OPEN USA. He used his education to work as a tentmaker in the Middle East for 8.5 years seeking to plant a church amongst a least-reached people group. Currently back in the USA with his wife and children, they aim to return to finish what the LORD used them to start.

To learn more about B4T, read Business for Transformation by Patrick Lai.

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