Sending with authority
Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
- Mark 6:7
In today’s passage, Jesus sends his disciples out AND gives them authority over impure spirits. Both of these elements matter.
There’s no sending without authority.
We need authority behind us to do the work God wants us to do in the world. And our own authority isn’t enough.
There are forces at work in the world that are bigger than us and stronger than us. Some of us have experienced them as we’ve wrestled with addiction or mental health struggles. Some of us have seen dehumanizing demonic elements at large in the world, so terrible and strange our modern minds attempt to reject them outright.
We don’t like to think that there are powers that we can’t grapple with on our own. We want to think that with enough practice and persistence we can overcome all. But that just isn’t the case. Jesus still had to come and suffer and die, despite all of the practice and persistence that had been poured out for generations to resist evil. He was our only hope.
And his authority continues to give us hope. There’s no one higher than Jesus, no one more powerful, no one who can override his commands or intentions or purposes. His authority rolls with us as we journey with him. We wouldn’t dare leave home without it.
And, yet, his authority compels us to leave home, to go out into the world, to journey where he sends us. We don’t bask in the authority of Jesus solely for our own benefit and comfort. We receive gift of God’s authority as we join together with him to engage our world for good.
Try praying this prayer today as you go about your day:
Jesus, would your authority triumph over every force of evil in this place? Help me to be the person you need me to be in this place where you’ve sent me. Bless everyone around me with the “better” you want them to see.