“On Your Mark”
The Fields are Still White (Chapter 6 Verses 7-13)
The twelve Apostles are given their first mission (v7). They have been previously taught of the Lord, and now receive more instruction before they set out. No doubt they have lots more to learn, but it is as well the Lord does not wait till we are perfect before trusting us with his work, often we learn as we go along. But that of course is not an excuse for sending people into mission work in a totally unprepared condition. We do well to point out how these men have sat under faithful ministry, the willingness there has been with them to learn. There are far too many people being sent into evangelism, neither taught, nor with a willingness to be taught. It is almost an attitude of, anyone will do. No, that will not do. It must be our best people. They must have the necessary gifts. And they must have the best instruction that we can give them. The wisdom of Jesus is displayed in sending them in pairs, to encourage, and to support one another, no doubt when the going gets tough. But of course there are dangers in going it alone too, evangelism is always the business of the Church.
The Lord not only instructs but equips for the work too (vv8-11), he is no one’s debtor, he provides the needs of his servants. They in turn are to be utterly dependant upon him, who sends them. Do keep in mind all this is still preparatory, these men are being trained for a wider, a world-wide missionary undertaking (Acts 1.8). This is not an exercise in aesthetics, or to inflict the disciples with hardship. Rather it is to relieve them of all worry. One of the lessons they will learn on their first mission is that the Lord is to be completely trusted (Luke 22.35f). A lesson we all need to learn. Whatever provision is made for them in their journeys is to be accepted, without jockeying for better accommodation, and where none is offered, or the message not listened to, they are to leave (vv10-11). They have accomplished what they had been given to do, just as their Master had done, with the same message (Mark 1.15). Their message is of repentance, which would no doubt include a call to faith, was accompanied, backed up with apostolic signs (v13; Romans 15.18-19; 2Corinthians 12.12; Hebrews 2.4). Those apostolic signs have now accomplished their purpose, but the Lord is still instructing, equipping and calling his people to long-term Christian service, the fields are yet white unto harvest (Matthew 9.37- 38). “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all”. Once again, what are you doing with your life? Don’t waste it, will you?