Imagine, if you can, being one of the twelve as Jesus calls you all together and sends you out on your first mission. You have been with Him now for a while and you have come to know His teaching, His healing and His authority over demons. You are excited, on the one hand, to spread the Good News of His presence on earth but, on the other hand, you are tentative about your own ability to succeed in this first mission. Then, Jesus removes all concerns from your mind in an interesting way. He pairs you with another, two by two, so that each has a companion to help bolster your spirits when discouragement sets in and—this is the good part—He handicaps you with an extreme and most interesting instruction, “take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money.”
The words from today’s Psalm 85 are worth noting:
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
The Lord Himself will give His benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Paul’s words to the Ephesians echo the Psalmist’s words:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.
What appears to be a handicap for the Apostles is really a blessing. Their mission is not their own. Their success is not their own. Their preaching and healing are not their own. Everything they accomplish on the journey is through their master, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit and every failure is to be forgotten for the sake of their important mission—a mission still crucial today!