Two by Two

Why would Jesus send the disciples out two by two in Mark chapter six? Wouldn’t it be more effective for Him to send them out individually? If He did that, He could reach twice the population at the same time? Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this?

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV

Life is hard, and ministry can be very challenging. It becomes easier, however, when you have someone to connect with during the battle. I am so thankful for some of my brothers (and sisters)-in-Christ who have helped me along the way.

And Jesus tells the disciples not to take anything with them. They will be provided for. Rodney Cooper points out that

“Jesus gave the disciples specific instructions so they would know that they were dependent on God for their provision and success.”

Rodney Cooper, Holman New Testament Commentary: Mark p. 101

If we are honest, we like it when there are reserves for us to rely on. At the Elm Street Community Church, we have had to rely on Him and wait on Him every year. He has never failed to provide in one way or another, and some of the ways He has provided have been truly amazing!

Rodney Cooper also points out in his commentary that as they brought their message or repentance and the need for people to turn to God, they also took care of their physical needs through healings and the casting out of demons.

“Physical infirmities, poverty, and starvation are part of Satan’s dominion. Therefore, we do well to fight against Satan by taking care of people’s physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.”

Rodney Cooper, Holman New Testament Commentary: Mark p. 102

In fact, it is often hard for people to see or worry about their spiritual needs until their physical needs are met.

Lord, I thank You that You have always provided for us. I also thank You for bringing people into my life who are willing to walk alongside me (and I them). Even though it has been tough sometimes, and might have even seemed like we were going backwards, You always took care of us.

Help bring Your body together. Use us to help meet people’s physical and spiritual needs, and help us to rely on You as we seek to stay faithful to You in all things!

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