TO READ: Mark 6: 1-13
Learning by Doing
Then Jesus went out from village to village, teaching. And he called his twelve disciples together and sent them out two by two, with authority to cast out evil spirits.Mark 6:6-7
When Socrates taught his pupils in ancient Greece, he did not stand on a podiumwhile they sat in quiet rows assiduously taking notes. Instead, he engaged them in a structured dialogue. Nowadays, graduate students in the Harvard Business School do case studies, students in junior high classes are given team projects, and medical students learn through practical residencies. There are many different ways of learning.
Jesus, the master teacher, sometimes used monologue, while at other times he engaged in dialogue. Occasionally he told parables, which were basically case studies. But the most surprising thing about Jesus’ teaching methods was his commitment to learning by doing.
In the training of the twelve disciples, there came a time when Jesus decided it was time to send them out on a mission. At that juncture, the disciples were clearly not polished preachers or teachers. In fact, they didn’t even have a firm grasp of their subject—as evidenced by their total surprise when Jesus was crucified, and even greater amazement when he rose from the dead, despite the fact that he had been telling them throughout their training that this would happen! And they certainly were not always proficient when they were called upon to confront evil spirits, or even capable of handling the squabbles that arose in their own fellowship. But Jesus sent them out anyway!
The disciples were told to travel in pairs, presumably for mutual support, and were given detailed instructions about traveling light and being content with their lodgings. Because of the urgency of their mission, they would not have time to bother about creature comforts, and since they would need to be constantly on the move in order to reach as many people as possible, they should not be encumbered by unnecessary baggage.
The disciples were charged to “cast out evil spirits” (Mark 6:7). This may have caused them some consternation, but they were given Jesus’ own authority, which was as powerful as the one who delegated it to them. And they were instructed not to waste time talking to people who had no intention of listening to them, even to the point of shaking the dust off their feet as they left an unresponsive village—an action usually done by Jews as they left a pagan environment.
So with a sense of mission, urgency, dependency, apprehension, and expectation they went forth. Uncertain in their own minds, unprepared in their own strength, they went in obedience to Jesus and in dependence on Jesus. They were a blessing—and they were blessed. Ministering as they went, they learned as they worked. God’s teaching methods have not changed.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunity You have given us t o share Your word and as we do, we are able to learn through this opportunity. You have given us charge to spread the Gospel far and wide which requires us to spend more time learning as we go, that we may do those things that are pleasing to You and let all we come across hear of the good news of Jesus Christ.
Again Father it is an opportunity and commission that all should take advantage of under Your guidance. Sharing your Love with all who will listen and helping us to learn in the process.
I am thankful for Your trust in me and I do these things in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ!
Scripture Mark 6: 1-13
1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.