“And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belt— but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that men should repent. And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.” – Mark 6:7-13
The word mission is usually associated with travelling to another country, perhaps a country that’s not as well off as where you’re from. It typically falls into the category of somewhere “over there”.
But what if we changed the way we use that word? What if we stopped over complicating it?
The truth is the word mission is NOT complicated. It’s not something that you can only do “over there”. It doesn’t involve a secret recipe. The word mission, biblically speaking, simply means to be sent by Jesus and to trust in God.
Think about this in terms of the church. Does your church put more emphasis on inviting people in or sending you out to do work? I think inviting people in is extremely important, don’t get me wrong. It’s fantastic to have the doors open and making people feel welcomed, always. However, I think what’s more important is that we have people in the church ready to go on mission! Ready and willing to go where and when God asks! We are just way too comfortable in the seats!
One of my favorite parts of the book of Mark is in chapter 6 verse 37 when Jesus says to His disciples, “You give them something to eat!”
To put it into context, Jesus was teaching and the crowd had grown very large and the people were hungry. So the disciples asked Jesus to send the people away so they could go get things for them to eat in other villages and surrounding areas. They never expected His response and you can tell by what they say next, “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” In other words, dude, we don’t have those kind of provisions.
Isn’t it amazing how many times the disciples forget just who they are talking to! But…put yourself in their shoes (or sandals 😁) for just a minute. Picture yourself standing in front of a crowd of 5000 people. They are hungry. You’re being asked to feed them…
And He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” And when they found out, they said, “Five loaves and two fish.” – Mark 6:38
You look at the crowd. You look down at the little portion of fish and bread you have….and then you look back to Jesus and you’re thinking, “Um…this is not possible!”
Wait a minute…this is JESUS! Remember? When Jesus asks us to move, we move! We move in faith and trust that God will provide. That entire sentence is key though. You have to MOVE in FAITH and TRUST. They all go together. Moving is the mission, faith is the requirement and trust is the part where we simply allow God to be, well, God!
Let’s finish out this story and see how it ends, shall we?
And He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass. They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. There were five thousand men who ate the loaves. – Mark 6:39-44
Some things really stand out here, if you can catch them.
- Jesus didn’t feed the people. His disciples did after they were asked to by Jesus. In other words, they were sent on mission. Jesus asked and they moved!
- When they went on mission to do the work asked of them, they went in faith that no matter what their provisions were (let’s face it, 5 loaves and 2 fish isn’t much!) that God would provide whatever they needed!
- ALL were satisfied. Isn’t it amazing what can happen when we just simply trust God? We’re never left wanting. He provides everything we need.
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!”Psalm 8:3-9