7 He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits. 8 He instructed them to take nothing for the road except a staff—no bread, no traveling bag, no money in their belts, 9 but to wear sandals and not put on an extra shirt. 10 He said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that place. 11 If any place does not welcome you or listen to you, when you leave there, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons, anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. — Mark 6:7-13
Heal Through Our Faith While Also Protecting Our Faith
by Michael Henry
Have you ever had someone come to help you, or to help heal you, but you did not accept their offer of assistance?
These verses describe the way Jesus chose to send His disciples out to witness and heal, and by extension how we are to go forth to witness and show the way to true healing. He instructed them to go in groups of two with scant provisions, almost literally only the clothes on their backs. Of more importance though, they were given the power to show a path to those who were willing to listen and be healed.
We know our mission is to spread the word of our Lord. We are to focus on that and rely on our Lord to provide the means to do so—and make no mistake about it, He will! We can only trust Jesus to make that strength and faith apparent to those we encounter in our spiritual travels. Just as we are strengthened in our own faith as we witness to others, so too will those who see our faith and our willingness to share it be encouraged to open themselves up to that wonderful healing and salvation.
But what are we to do when we encounter those who are not open to learning more of the great truth of Christ and who may be unwilling to seriously consider our witness? Mark tells us that Christ is quite clear on this. At that point, we are to shake their “dust” off and move on, being careful not to be soiled by their unwillingness to receive, or even to consider, the ultimate truth of Christ. We are compelled to be open in sharing our faith, but we are also to protect our precious faith from those who might seek to push us away from our relationship with Christ. The warning is clear. We must protect our faith while using it to witness and bring healing to others.
Mark does tell us in the latter verses of this section that indeed many were willing to listen and be healed, along with demons being cast out. This is uplifting and encouraging to us as witnesses for Christ. We have the same mission as the disciples Jesus references in these verses. They encountered success. Why should we not expect the same?
Are you willing to carry out your obligation as a follower of Christ to witness and to show others the only true path to spiritual healing with the same simplicity and strength of faith they did?
- How do we determine when it is time to “shake the dust off” from a non-believer who is not accepting Christ’s salvation?
- How does our simplicity in witnessing to non-believers regarding the healing power of Christ serve to strengthen our message?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.