This passage is a blueprint that the church still uses to this very day. It deals with Jesus experiment to send out his 12 apostles and his instructions to follow. When I say “experiment”, I am not referring to Jesus trying an idea to see if it works but more along the lines of “for their benefit”. Jesus had a limited amount of time to transform a rag tag group into the genesis of what would become the first century Christian church.
In vs. 7, he starts by first equipping them with the power over unclean spirits. He gives them explicit instructions on what to take on the journey, namely a staff, the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet. What? Something must be wrong here, no money, clean clothes, a gift or offering. Nope, just the essentials, and so the journey begins. Looking back, we can see the sheer genius of making them completely reliant on God and having no other choice other than faith.
It reminds me of a story I heard about two lawyers talking about a third, one says to the other: “He never loses a case” and the other responds, “he never takes a case he thinks he can lose”. Jesus knew they had all they would need and he knew the outcome before they were sent.
After more instructions (vs 8-11) they are on their way, likely excited and a little afraid at the same time. Not surprisingly they have success with a message that sometimes still gets lost today, “REPENT”. In vs 13, we are told that they cast out many demons and many were healed. I am willing to bet that salvation found its way to many of them as well.
My takeaway is this; our faith requires us to do many things, some of which are scary, hard, time consuming or just new to us. However, our Father will give us all we need. He knows the risk, the reward and the outcome. What he offers us is a chance to be a part of it and that can be life changing.