Can people whose faith is full of doubt be messengers of the kingdom? In this passage from Mark, Jesus calls the twelve together and sends them out. These twelve are those who have wondered who Jesus is, why he wants to know something, how to feed people, where we will get the money. These are the 12 who jumped up to join Jesus on the way and now are having doubts, are full of questions, who just don't seem to get it anymore. As the gospel story continues to unfold, these twelve will continue to misunderstand Jesus and his ministry. This will eventually lead to their denial and desertion. But right now they are eager, but unsure, full of hope and questions. So Jesus takes these twelve who are full of fear and a lack of understanding and sends them out by 2's to expand the mission. Jesus sends them out to preach repentance, to have authority over demons, and to spread the word. They are to rely on the hospitality of the places they visit. If they are not welcome, if the word is not able to be heard, they are to move on. The twelve go out and share of the dawning kingdom. These people whose faith is incomplete and will be tested, can still spread the word, sow the seeds, help bring forth the dawning kingdom. These twelve will have their hardness of heart grow.. but in spite of their fear and lack of understanding, they are given a mission.
The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 29Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. Mark 6:6b-13
Where are the areas of your doubt? Where are the areas where you don't understand? Are you letting those questions hold you back from serving God? Do not fear, only believe. Take heart, it is I. The Kingdom of God is at hand, believe the Good News.
As you settle into a time of quiet, let your doubts and lack of faith come into your mind. But like the boat journey that Jesus has taken the disciples on let the water, the ebb and flow of faith wash the doubts away. Let the questions not stop you, but become a place for asking questions. Let the sand on your feet fall away. Ask the Spirit to show you where you are to head next on your journey. Amen.
God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton