Yes, it is a rocky road to go out and witness for our Lord. But if we truly believe in Him, we must also want to put ourselves where we cannot only “see” Jesus, but also minister as He would want us to do. The choice is ours!


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“He instructed them to take nothing on their journey.” —Mark 6:8

Today, we Christians love to talk about being on a journey. We see prayer, marriage, morality, etc. as journeys. Sometimes this idea of journeying is put forth to justify all sorts of sinful behavior. After all, we haven’t arrived yet; we’re just on a journey.

However, the concept of the Christian life as a journey is legitimate, although often misapplied. The chosen people of Israel, Jesus and His apostles, and the early Church were repeatedly journeying. Nevertheless, Jesus does not use the idea of journeying as an excuse for sin but as a call to gospel poverty, evangelization, and much more. Jesus “instructed them to take nothing on their journey but a walking stick — no food, no traveling bag, not a coin in the purses in their belts” . “With that they went off, preaching the need of repentance. They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures”.

When we think of journeying, we shouldn’t think of making excuses; rather, we should think of gospel poverty, preaching, repentance, deliverance, and healing. We’re on a journey. This means carrying the cross in the power of the Spirit for the building of God’s kingdom.

“They went off, preaching the need of repentance.” —Mark 6:12

As soon as Jesus sent out His apostles, they made it a priority to emphasize repentance in their preaching. However, we don’t hear this kind of emphasis on repentance today. If disciples of Jesus don’t emphasize repentance, certainly the secular world and sinners will not! Notice how the Scriptures constantly focus on sincere and immediate repentance for our sins:

  • John the Baptizer proclaimed “a baptism of repentance which led to the forgiveness of sins”.
  • The first words spoken by Jesus in His public ministry are: “Reform your lives!”
  • After Jesus rose, He appeared to the apostles and said: “In [My] name, penance for the remission of sins is to be preached to all the nations”.
  • On the day of Pentecost, as the Church was born, Peter preached repentance to the crowds, saying: “You must reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven”.

Repent with godly sorrow. Bring people to Confession.

“They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures.” —Mark 6:13

Today we don’t seem to be getting the same results as did Jesus’ first followers. Demons aren’t always expelled, and cures don’t seem as numerous as in Jesus’ time. Maybe our results are different because we’re not following Jesus’ instructions.

  1. Are we going out to tell the good news of the kingdom?
  2. Are we going out “two by two”?
  3. Have we taken “nothing on the journey”? Do we “have neither silver nor gold”?
  4. Are we “preaching the need of repentance”?

Signs and wonders accompany the proclamation of God’s word when we do it the way the Lord has commanded.

Healings don’t exist in a vacuum, but rather are part of the work of evangelization. Evangelizing is intimately related to Christian community, a simple life-style, and repentance. There’s a spiritual ecology to the mission the Lord has given us. We must respect all the elements of this ecology to have the spiritual power promised us in God’s word.

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