gty.org/Resources/Sermons/41-28

Open your Bible, if you will, to the sixth chapter of Mark's gospel. In the wonderful providence of God, we're working our way through Mark and we just happened to arrive at this particular portion of Scripture in Mark chapter 6, verses 7 and following, which our Lord sends out the Twelve on their first short-term mission trip. It fit so well, the intent of the conference, so much is here seminal for the area of understanding how we do ministry that I decided to split it into two parts, do half at the front end and the last half at the back end. For some of you, you will only receive the back half cause you weren't here last Sunday. We did have a contingent of folks from the Philippines who were disappointed that I only gave them half last week, so they changed their flight and they're here this morning. We're glad you stuck around. I hope you find it worth your while.

In the sixth chapter of Mark's gospel, we come to a very, very important turning point, transition point, mega shift in the ministry of our Lord's Kingdom gospel preaching. This is that text in which He delegates His message and His power for the first time to the Twelve Apostles and sends them out essentially to preach exactly what He preached and to do exactly what He did. The text can really begin for us at the back half of verse 6. "And He was going around the villages teaching and He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over the unclean spirits and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff, no bag, no money in their belt, but to wear sandals and He added, 'Do not put on two tunics.' And He said to them, 'Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. And any place that does not receive you or listen to you as you go out from there, shake the dust off the souls of your feet for a testimony against them.' They went out and preached that men should repent. And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them."

At this point, there's an account of the death of John the Baptist. After this account, Mark returns to the sending of the twelve in verse 30 and records their return after their short-term mission. Notice verse 30, "The Apostles gathered together with Jesus." They are now constituted as the Apostles, after this first mission they become an official group. "They reported to Him all that they had done and taught and He said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while,' for there were many people coming and going and they didn't even have time to eat. They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves."...

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