After watching Jesus perform numerous miracles, teach with authority, and declare the kingdom of God, the disciples now must go and imitate all their Teacher taught them. As delegates of Jesus in both word and power, they model for future disciples what it means to bear the image of God. This extension of Christ’s ministry shows that the authority the Father gave to His Son, Jesus now gives to His disciples. It begs the question, how should disciples wield this power?
Jesus Sends Out His Disciples
Total Dependence on God
Once Jesus deputizes His disciples and gives them authority to cast out demons and the responsibility to declare the kingdom of God is at hand, you might expect them to begin to think more highly of themselves than they ought. After all, not many people in history had the privilege of declaring a new world order to their neighbors. Yet, by Jesus limiting them to a staff and the clothes on their backs, He teaches them that true power comes from total dependence on God. The same holds true for us today. If you want power, get on your knees.
As anyone who has done a ropes course will tell you, saying you trust the harness to catch you on the treetops obstacle course, and then jumping off the sixty-foot tower, reveal two different levels of faith. By forcing the disciples to depend on God’s provision rather than their extra clothes, money, and food, Jesus asks them to jump off the sixty-foot tower, believing that God will catch them and supply them with their every need.
Since Jesus asks the disciples to trust that God would provide through hospitality at various towns, one might expect that they would be warmly welcomed at each juncture. However, just as Jesus experienced rejection, so too did His disciples at times. Full dependence on God does not guarantee the easy path. Sometimes jumping off the sixty-foot tower ends with bumps and bruises on the way down. Ultimately the success of the jump is not measured by the smoothness of the landing but by the jumper’s willingness to trust in the first place. We trust; God controls the outcomes.
Our Total Dependence
The way in which Jesus sent the disciples—two by two and with only the clothes on their backs—proves more descriptive than prescriptive. If you find yourself preparing for a short-term mission trip, please pack a change of clothes and some extra money. The takeaway for us today is not that we should always depend radically on the hospitality of others—though God might ask that of you. Instead, we, like the disciples, should place our total dependence on God throughout our lifelong mission of declaring that the kingdom of God has arrived. Rather than trusting in our brilliant personalities, good looks, big bank accounts, number of Instagram followers, ability to powerfully teach the Word of God, or anything else, we should set about the work God prepared beforehand for us to do with a complete and total trust on God to effect change through His power and authority through us.
In what or whom do you tend to place your trust rather than God? What do you need to get rid of in your life so that when God asks you to jump off the sixty-foot tower, you will leap with joy?
Sign Up for Follow Emails
get the daily devotionals delivered to your email every morning