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Mark Pt 26: The School of Hard Knocks and Dirty Feet

The Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:34
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Mark 6:7–13 KJV 1900
7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. 10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
Introduction
We come to a place in scripture this morning, and it is good to finally be back to the book of Mark, after quite a few weeks away, we can now bed down and spend the run up to Christmas in this Gospel, however as we slot back in we find ourselves at a point were the disciples have to go out and the hands, or indeed there feet, dirty, then have to go out and be ministers of the Lord.
They have been in training, and the best form of learning is in the application of the teaching
Old Chinese proverb:
“Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand. Step back and I will act.”
This is the point we are at with the Disciples, if you turn with me to
Mark 3:14 KJV 1900
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
Here we see the training process beginning, the theory if you like, in Mark 6 we are moving to the practical, now notice the order..
they had to be with Christ first, before they could be sent out by Christ Mark 6:7
Thats important, you have to spend time with Christ, before you are fit for his work, you can’t bypass the Lord.
The disciples had spent time with the Master, and they had observed, as we have done, his teaching and his application in action, now instead of Jesus calling them to be with him, he is commanding them to go out from him
Notice firstly,
The Commission vs 7
Mark 6:7 KJV 1900
7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
In Pairs
“by two and two”
The big question is: why did He send them out two by two?
Well, one answer to that question might be that it gave them authenticity in a legal sense - as they were bringing testimony, the law required that in the mouth of two or three witnesses a truth should be established.
So they were going out to propagate the truth of this message from Christ on His behalf, as His representatives, and it would fulfil the law's requirements that they went in twos.
But I think there might be a second reason as well.
We read in Matthew chapter 18 that the Lord Jesus said: 'If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven'.
There is a great strength in praying with other people, and operating in service with other people, not just on your own. Prayer ministry would have been multiplied in going two by two.
But a third reason for sending them out two by two may be the simple and most common sense reason, that it gives encouragement, companionship and cooperation.
support
strengthen
encourage
Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 KJV 1900
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
two believers and the Lord, that threefold chord that in not quickly broken
In Power
“gave them power”
power - Gk exousia
authority
given by the Lord
the authority was his not their’s!
Now Judaism understood a kind of legal recognition that an action performed by authorised individuals on the behalf of another was considered as the actual action of the person represented.
Their Jewish law of the land acknowledged the sent one as the man who commissioned him. The sent one was as if he was the man who commissioned him.
So if you were appointed as a representative, in the legal sense of the term you where that person.
In keeping with that thought, we find in verse 30 that, having come back from their mission, 'the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught'.
They were reporting to Him, because they had been operating on His behalf, as if He was operating.
How that fits in so well with the theme of this portion, because what we witness here is not the power of the apostles, it is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ reproduced in His representatives. Like us today, as ambassadors for Christ, as apostles with a small 'a', as ones He has sent out to represent Him, we also are called upon to reproduce His power.
"unclean spirits”
Exploring the Gospel of Mark: An Expository Commentary b. Rejection Expected on the Homeland Crusade (6:7–13)

There seems to have been a massive incursion of demons into the land at that time, as Satan gathered all of his agents together to fight the threat that the Lord Jesus posed to his kingdom. The disciples were empowered to confront all of the power of the enemy with His almighty power. And so they did.

so the men have their commission, which is followed by some specifics, as we see...
The Commands
Mark 6:8–11 KJV 1900
8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. 10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
The Practicalities
we need dependence on the Lord, not dependence on wealth.
Now that, put in one word, is faith. We need dependence on the Lord, not on wealth - faith.
You see, the minimum of provision was meant to call these disciples out in the maximum of faith.
They didn't have any resources, and so they had to be totally cast upon the Lord.
as Hudson Taylor put it, 'The Lord pays for what He orders'.
What the Lord was teaching the servant was: 'As long as you're doing my work, I will supply your need'.
The Prediction
there would be some that receive
vs 10 “abide”
there shall be some that some that wouldn’t recieve
They were not obliged to remain and cast their pearls before swine.
In public testimony against those who rejected the message of Christ, they were to shake off the dust under their feet - symbolising God's rejection of the hearers.
Now, you see, the Jews often did this when they were in a Gentile village or city and went out, a heathen place, they would shake the dust from off their feet.
The Lord is commanding them to do this against the Jews, who rejected Him as their Messiah!
Now don't misunderstand: the disciples were not being called by the Lord to be rude or hostile in their approach, but this actually was a merciful prophetic act.
This was intended to shock the hearers into realising that the judgement of God was upon them. It was designed to prick them into thinking about their destiny and standing before God.
Ultimately it was a pronouncement of judgement that was to bring them to repentance
all be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city' that rejects Christ, or that person that rejects Christ.
If you're a person in this building this morning who rejects Christ, you've got to know that you're in a worse situation than Sodom and Gomorrah, and fire rained down from heaven upon them!
You've heard, they hadn't heard the gospel, you've heard.
You have a Bible, they never had a Bible in their hands.
You have sat in gospel meetings, evangelistic campaigns, they never had that - but God judged them because they rejected Him with less than you have, what will God do to you?
finally we have the details of the Campaign
The Campaign
Mark 6:12–13 KJV 1900
12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
The Preaching
Please note first of all that preaching was their main task.
They were to preach the gospel
Sometimes there are groups of people calling on unbelievers to come and get healed, and not even giving them the gospel. We see them on our streets round about this district, having little prayer clinics for people's healing of the body when their souls are damned!
That's not Christ's order: He preached to them, and the word used here for 'preach' is 'kerusso', and it literally means this: to make a public proclamation with such gravity, formality, and authority as must be heeded
The Pattern
It was the preaching that led to the expulsion of demons and healing of the sick.
Preach the word and the power comes
preach the word and it will not return void
Romans 10:8–17 KJV 1900
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Conclusion
The disciples had to get out and face the school of hard knock and dirty feet, they had to get out and experience life on the front line, they had to get into service.
And its the same for us folks, we have to serve to grow, growth does not come apart from acting out your faith, stepping out and taking the word of God to the world, and the more we do it the easier it gets, and the better we get and serving the Lord.
Its Harvest time, and there is a spiritual harvest to be had
John 4:35 KJV 1900
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Matthew 9:37–38 KJV 1900
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
We are the labourers, and we have to push out into the deep as it were, to go like the disciples all those years ago, and put our faith into action, as we serve the Lord of the Harvest..
Let’s Pray
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