Witnessing of the Migrated Community
Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two and gave them the authority over evil spirits. (V.7)
How do we test one’s faith? Is it in a comfortable arena of life or in a challenging situation where we face lot of crises? The gospel of Matthew Chapter 6 begins with Jesus’ response to people of Nazareth. He was rejected by his own community. Mission that is entrusted to disciples was an extension of Jesus Ministry. It was a practical training for the disciples for the future ministry. Verses 8-9 depict the provisions which are required for ministry. Few reflections on the instructions which Jesus gave are given bellow.
Sending Two by Two: Partners of Ministry
In Jewish tradition, the disciples of Rabbi were used to travel two by two. This pattern focuses on the team ministry and the fellowship and care which the disciples are supposed to give each other. Self centered and self glorified ministry is questioned here by propagating a team ministry which envisions the partnership in the ministry. No individual or organization or parish can claim for their mission because it is the mission of God. Sometimes we are confined as a sponsoring agency or we are satisfied as a viewer of mission. The text urges us to be a part in God’s ministry.
Living with Limited Resources: Walking the Talk
The text portrays the urgency in ministry because the Kingdom of God is near. Sandals were the symbols of freedom. When the slaves become free they were asked to wear sandals. Denial of travel kit (verse10) was an invitation to voluntary poverty for wandering prophets or traveling missionaries. They had been taught to trust in the Lord rather than the material blessings. Jesus sent the disciples with the singularity of purpose and their goal is to preach about the kingdom of God. Carrying wealth and other provisions for comfort will always be against the mission of God. Wandering missionaries had no permanent place. Moreover they have to respect and accept the culture of the local community and are supposed to stay with them. Living with limited clothes also symbolizes the simple living. Shaking the dust is not to curse but to remind about repentance. Disciples preached about repentance which was a simple message which Jesus commanded them to share.
Mar Thoma community shares a heritage of mission that every member of the Church is a missionary. The migrated community is called to fulfill God’s mission. Simple living or Living with limited provisions is not generally seen in the world where luxury is appreciated. When we share our potentials and resources for the mission of God, God’s name will be glorified. In Luke 10: 17 (the parallel text) warns about the self congratulations. Jesus reminds that never be exited for the good things we do, but our name will be written in heaven.
Prayer: Jesus our Lord, help us to discern your call and commission , enable us to proclaim your message through our life...........Amen
Thought for the day: “What do we advertise through our life?” asks Rick Warren (Author of Purpose Driven Life).
Rev. Sajesh Mathews, Dharma Jyothi Vidya peedom, Deihi