“Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature”
(Mark 16: 15)
Let us remember God’s Teaching, contained in His Word and in doing so, remain
He Sent Them Out, Two By Two
Ordinary 15 Year B St. Mark 6: 6b — 13
1. The early Hebrew Christians were gripped by the awesomeness of the whole prophetic fulfilment unfolding before their eyes. The One promised by God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3: 16) they understood to have been later prophesied in Isaiah 52: 7. and who arrived in the person of the Messiah.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who
Even further, they had learnt that Jesus appointed disciples to carry on His work, and in turn, appoint others down through the ages, to prolong His ministry of seeking out the lost, deprived, neglected and needy.
There is no break in this on-going outreach of the Saviour to bring back all those given to Him by the Father. It is exciting to see ourselves in this vast outworking of prophecy and promise. But, as becomes very clear in reading the Gospel accounts, if we see ourselves as part of our Lord’s outreach, that vocation must remain central, i.e. retain a place of priority in our lives at all times. This admonition of the Lord is not to frighten or oppress us, but is to give us confidence and strength to live an appropriate life-style in harmony with our calling. This way of life will be marked by disciplined prayer, study, meditation and worship. That is the path of the disciple of the Lord. That is the path appointed by God Himself in the most compelling of all the Commandments:
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!
Jesus followed the rabbis of His time by attaching another of His Father’s Commandments:
“You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”
The disciples of Jesus desire constantly to show love for their neighbour by sharing everything they can of their treasured faith.
2. On reading this passage, we could easily find it rather impersonal and remote in its stark content. But this is a good little example of a Hebrew rabbi’s stamp of urgency on what is said. There is to be a dignity in simplicity, and there is to be much power evident in God’s promises being fulfilled — but there is to be no fuss nor focus on what the disciples are seen to be achieving: only the recognition of awesome presence of God at work among those willing to listen and respond generously.
3. The Apostles “preached repentance”. (Verse 12). We can wonder at how they did this, and wonder equally just how we would be expected to do so! But this was no moralistic pitchforking of people and bullying them with warnings about how they lived. It was the lifting of burdens people carry within them — to let them see and feel their release from all the forms of spiritual captivity from which people suffer regardless of time or culture. We all need this healing and our Lord continues to set it as a high priority in His ministry to the world through His disciples.