Disciples Are Still Sent Out to

Share the Good News


Mark 3:13-19; 6:6b-13

Key Verse: Jesus appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message.  Mark 3:14



We are either on an ego trip or we are on a mission trip.


Elizabeth Bates has been to Rome

And looked at the statues there,

Elizabeth Bates has scaled the Alps

And sniffed the mountain air.

Elizabeth Bates

Milo Ray Phelps-New Yorker


Elizabeth Bates has winced at Nice

And quibbled at gay Paree,

And lifted her delicate eyebrows at

Indelicate Barbary.


Elizabeth Bates has “done” the globe

From Panama back to the States,

But all she saw on the way around

Was Miss Elizabeth Bates.


Elizabeth Bates has been to Spain

And sampled her ego there,

And viewed the face of the thoughtful Sphinx

And paused to arrange her hair.


Elizabeth Bates can be no place

She hasn’t been there before,

But never has yet been out of herself,

So I have traveled more.




        Elizabeth Bates is not alone in her travels.  Many live their whole lives centered on themselves.  Jesus sent his disciples out on a mission when He walked on this earth and He stills sends His followers out to share the Good News with a world that hears so much bad news. 

        When we experience Christ in our hearts, life becomes different for us.  It is not easy to define our experience of Christ, but Watchman Nee’s simple explanation helps to make it clearer.  Nee was once asked to explain his experience of Christ.  He took a very hot cup of tea, dropped a lump of sugar into it, and stirred it well.  ‘Now,’ he said to the enquirer, ‘try and take the sugar out of the tea!’  The enquirer was exasperated! ‘How can I?  For the tea has become the sugar and the sugar has become the tea!’  ‘Exactly,’ replied the great teacher.  ‘In the same way I am in Christ and He is in me!’

        As we go into the world, we take Christ because He is in us.  So on our pilgrimage what else can we do but share Christ with those who have not heard about Him. 

John Wesley preached until he was 87 years old.  Riding a horse around England Wesley preached, served Holy Communion and cared about the pain that he found in poor people who needed to hear the Good News of Christ.

The missionary work of David Livingstone affected thousands of lives across Africa.  Through his mission bases he taught the local people and cared for their needs.

William Booth’s vision for evangelism and social reform led to the formation of the Salvation Army.  He had great practical concern for the poor.

If we are wise we will pause from time to time and evaluate our lives to see if we are on a mission trip or on an ego trip.  Let take another look at the sending forth story.


Today’s lesson reminds us that we are not doormats either, cowering in the face of a hostile world.  Instead, we are commissioned to open the door of salvation to a world that may not be fully ready to hear, but needs to hear.  Jesus, the Son of God, prayed all night before he called His disciples.  He still prays for His disciples as He sits at the right hand of God.

One writer called the Sermon of the Mount “The Ordination Address to the Twelve.”  The most important thing for us to remember is that the twelve were ready to follow Christ.  Aren’t we glad that He still calls to those of us who will listen, to be followers?  The disciples were asked to do two things, to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.  That seems like a simple task.  Do you think this is still our call today?  If you think your answer is “No!” then what does your life look like?

A lot of people feel inferior, afraid, inadequate.  A person on an ego trip sometimes covers up these feeling by being aggressive or pushy.  Somehow they hope to prop up their sagging ego.  I have met Elizabeth Bates everywhere I go.  The inflated ego is so offensive.  “I want my way” is their battle cry.  Life being what it is, we all are tempted to take ego trips every day of our lives.  Satan is our there like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  In order to resist temptation, you need God and His Word.

Jesus gave very clear instructions to his disciples on what to carry on their mission trip.  It is a strange list, but a list we should study, even for us who live so many years after Jesus gave these instructions.  The key idea is to travel light.  Over the years I have watched converts get bogged down in church work.  We start out so eager to serve and before we can turn around we are carrying too great a load.  Life is not only lost in dying, but day after dragging day as we become Martyrs in church work, because no one will help us. 

Disillusionment slowly winds itself around our thinking, praying, and planning and we become cold and half-hearted.  Tired and fed up we lose our enthusiasm.  Many of us have thought we could change the church overnight, so we try to do everything.  The Lord has not called us to carry the mission of the church on our own.  He is with us providing the resources to enable us to do His will. 

To the church at Colossae Paul wrote, “Remember what Christ taught and let His words enrich your lives and make you wise…..And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus…” (Col. 3:16, 17, LNT)

How much do you carry when you so out to serve the Lord.?  Jesus said to take nothing for the journey except a staff—not bread, no bag, no money in your belts.  One pair of shoes and no extra coats was the scant wardrobe.  Jesus gave no reason for the limited load, but he possibly wanted the disciples then and now not to look too affluent.

The older I become the more I see the necessity of lightening my load.  A few years ago I called in 25 members of my family and gave them large bundles of my stuff.  I have not missed those things, even though I thought they were precious to me at the time.  I feel that it is now time to share more of my possessions with my family.

My son, Tim, has made many making walking sticks for years out of limbs from strong trees.  He has won many ribbons at the fair for his staffs.  Why would you want a staff?  If you do a lot of walking you soon learn the benefits of having something to lean on or assist you as you walk.  I am blessed when I see Tim walking down the road near our home carrying his staff in his hand.  If God’s staff can be a comfort (Psalm 23) or if Jacob leaned on his staff while he worshipped (Hebrews 11:21) we might be wise to ask what is in our hands that would cause us to be comforted or that would cause us to worship. 

David found that when it was time to die, God’s rod would guide him and God’s staff would sustain him.  The gospel is called the rod of Christ’s strength (Ps. 110:2) Underneath the saints are the everlasting arms.  Then for modern servants, our staff can be the very Word of God.  Jesus Christ is The Word!  For Jacob, leaning on his staff meant remembering what God had done for him.  As an old man he prayed for those he was leaving behind, that religion might live in his family after he was gone.  Jacob could hardly support himself, but he was not ashamed to show that he needed a staff for support.  Are we ashamed to be   found leaning on the everlasting arms?  Safe and secure from all alarms is a wonderful place to be.

Simplicity of life is a state whereby our lives are not cluttered with many possessions.

 Lord, I want to be on a mission trip, not an ego trip.  Give me the courage to travel light and put my full trust in you, Lord Jesus.   Be my guide and sustainer all the way home.  Amen.