Packing Light

And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.- Mark 6:7-9

In this passage, Jesus is sending out His disciples to do great works in His name. The passage goes on to tell us how the disciples, through the power of Christ, healed the sick and cast out demons. I imagine, however, that when they were given their instructions, they were a little perplexed. I know I would be.

Basically, Jesus tells them to set forth on a journey without taking any provisions. No food. No money. No extra clothing. Nothing but a staff (presumably for protection from wild animals). That's it! Now when we go on a trip, my husband does a wonderful job of packing light. He takes only the bare essentials and has no problem with wearing the same shoes with every outfit. Me? Well, let's just say I like to be prepared. I might need rain gear or snow shoes. Sunscreen and insect repellant? Yep, I've got it. How about an extra set of clothes in case the ones I'm wearing are eaten by bears or something. You never know, so I like to be prepared. It's safe to say I'm not a light packer like Jason. But what Jesus was telling the disciples in the above passage goes far beyond light packing. They weren't to take anything but a staff. Can you imagine? No deodorant, toothpaste or change of underwear. I certainly wouldn't want to be their travel companion. Gross!

I imagine a hand going in the air. "Um, excuse me, Jesus. How are we supposed to provide for ourselves? How are we supposed to eat?" Jesus just smiles and continues to give other instructions for the journey. When the directions are completed, the disciples are sent out. Now, let's fast forward to their return from their journey.

And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. - Mark 6:30

Interesting! Excitement fills the air as the disciples recount their stories to Christ. They speak of healing and restoration. They talk of powerful sermons and stirring devotions. But what's interesting to me is what is not mentioned. There is no mention of their want. No mention of a lack of provision. No mention of starvation. By what's not mentioned, we can see that Christ provided for the needs of the disciples. Though they took nothing with them, they had everything they needed.

In closing, let me just say that sometimes it looks like we don't have what we need to complete our journey. Our strength is gone. We're out of time. The bank account is empty. Our health is failing. Whatever the case may be, it may seem like we're headed out on a journey without any provisions. Just as with the disciples, God will provide what we need when we need it. Trust in His promise.

But you might want to go ahead and take your toothbrush. I don't think anyone wants you to leave that behind.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19

*****Excerpt from my new devotional book, 
Daily Discussions of a Doubting Disciple*****
Click here to order your copy today.