Jesus came on mission, lived on mission, died on mission, and left his disciples — including all of us who follow him today — on mission. Conversion is about commission, not just salvation, because we’re not saved to be saved, but saved to be sent. Redemption is a life-saving rescue, but it also involves a profound rewiring and repurposing. We are saved to go out into the world for the glory of our Jesus — to make him known as our Lord, Savior, and greatest Treasure.
How is that mission accomplished? What plan did Jesus bring to make himself known in the world? Well, it began with a small group of confused, unqualified, and unknown men that walked with Jesus — and even one of them betrayed him to death.
Jesus “called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits” (Mark 6:7). Jesus could have chosen the experienced, well-educated teachers of the day. He could have commissioned the crowds that gathered in city after city — thousands and thousands of people. Instead, he picked twelve seemingly random guys, stayed with them his whole ministry, and sent them out to speak on his behalf.
“We’re not saved to be saved, but saved to be sent.”Tweet
Sent by Jesus for Jesus
These twelve “went out and proclaimed that people should repent” (Mark [6:12]). They were men with a message, summarized here in one word: repentance. “Repent” appears just one other time in Mark’s Gospel. Jesus announces, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark [1:15]). Repentance — turning away from sin, from other gods, from lesser treasures — is the fitting response of a sinful people to the good news of a holy, sovereign, and gracious God.
It was a condition for salvation (Luke 13:3, 5), but it was so much more than a condition. Repentance is living, breathing, and believing faith. Why would we continue walking in sin when we’ve seen the path of life, when we’ve heard the gospel — the medication all our sin-sick souls so desperately need? This was the message in the disciples’ mouths. There is a Name that loves the unworthy, redeems the hopeless, heals the sick, and conquers every evil. His name is Jesus.
Sent with Nothing, and Yet Everything
Before the disciples went out with the news, Jesus “charged 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 put on two tunics” (Mark 6:8). Why make them live and serve like homeless guys? They certainly didn’t have to. They had the bread, the bags, and the jackets. Jesus has just given them authority over unclean spirits (Mark 6:7) and the ability to heal the sick (Mark [6:13]). Why would he intentionally make their journey so hard, hungry, and precarious?
Written by Marshall Segal-Desiring God
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