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 12 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 12 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.”
Sent by Jesus for Jesus
These 12 “went out and proclaimed that people should repent” (Mark 6:12). 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, Luke 13.5″ data-version=”esv” data-purpose=”bible-reference”>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 6:8–9). Why would he intentionally make their journey so hard, hungry and precarious?
To make and keep them humble and dependent on God. Those entrusted with the greatest news in the world and empowered to be lights where they live will always be tempted to be proud and self-reliant. It’s a profound but pervasive irony that fruitfulness so often causes us to forget the sovereign love of God upholding and empowering all our ministry. One way to avoid the trap is to intentionally forego safety and comfort, even safety and comfort we can afford to provide for ourselves.
Sometimes we need to make ourselves trust God for what we need tomorrow, instead of structuring our lives to only need him every once in a while, when an unexpected crisis comes. Leave what you need at home, and know that you’ll have what you need. Your Father loves you more than you know and has more at his disposal than you could possibly fit in that bag—or house, or 401K (Matthew 6.33–34″ data-version=”esv” data-purpose=”bible-reference”>Matthew 6:33–34).