Christian Religious Studies Notes

Mission Of The Disciples

The Mission of the Twelve

To go on a mission simply means a task or job that someone is given to do. It is also a body of persons sent to conduct negotiations or establish relations with a foreign country.

Christians Mission is an organized effort for the propagation of the Christian faith. Mission often involves sending individuals and groups, called ‘missionaries’, to foreign countries and to places in their homeland for the purpose of proselytism (conversion to Christianity, or from one Christian tradition to another). This involves evangelism (preaching a set of beliefs for the purpose of conversion), and humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged.

There are a few different kinds of mission trips. Short-term, long-term, relational and ones meant simply for helping people in need. Some might choose to dedicate their whole lives to missions as well. Missionaries have the authority to preach the Christian faith, and provide humanitarian work.

Disciples are sent out on a mission by their teacher after a period of training. Jesus also taught his disciples and sent them out on a mission to teach them the practical aspect of their training. The mission of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ was written in all the three synoptic Gospels. The book of Luke recorded the mission of the seventy disciples.

The Mission of the Twelve

(Matthew 10:1-15; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-16)

The three synoptic gospels recorded the Mission of the twelve disciples. The general outline of the story as written by all the three synoptic writers are the sam, but there are minor differences in their details. Mark and Luke gave more details. Mathew restricts the mission of the twelve to the Jews, but Mark and Luke did not restrict it to the Jews. Mark and Luke did not mention Sodom and Gomorrah but Matthew did. Unlike Mark and Luke, Matthew listed the disciples in connection with their mission. Matthew gave the full list of the things the disciples should not take along with them while Mark permitted a staff and sandals. Matthew alone said that if the house the disciples saluted was unworthy, their salutation of peace should return to them.

Mark and Luke finally said that the disciples went out on the mission and preached the Gospel and healed the sick. Mark said the disciples were sent out two by two which Matthew and Luke did not record.

According to Matthew’s account, Jesus called his twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sicknesses. He sent them out with the instructions not to go among the Gentiles, or enter any town of the Samaritans, but to go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As they go, they should preach the message saying “The Kingdom of heaven is near.”

They should heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those that had leprosy, drive out demons. They received without pay and also gave without pay. They should take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in their belts, nor bag for the journey, nor extra tunic, nor sandals, nor a staff. Jesus said the worker is worth his keep.

Whatever town or village they entered, they should search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until they leave. As they enter the house, they should first salute the house with peace. If the house is deserving, let their peace rest on it; if it is not, let their peace return to them. If anyone will not welcome them or listen to their words, they should shake off the dust from their feet when they leave that home or town. It would be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of Judgment than for that town.

The Significance of the Mission of the Twelve

  1. Jesus trained his disciples before he sent them out on mission to practice what they had learnt. It is necessary for those called of God to receive training before they start their ministry.
  2. Jesus gave his disciples authority over unclean spirits and to heal the sick. The disciples made use of it and it worked for them. For those who are called by God to succeed in ministry, they must be endowed with the gifts and the power of God.
  3. Jesus warned the disciples that the power was given to them free and they should freely make use of it. We should learn that God’s services are to be rendered fre of charge.

The Mission of the Seventy (Luke 10:1-24)
Only the Gospel according to Luke recorded a separate account of the mission of the seventy disciples. According to Luke, Jesus appointed Seventy other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where h e was about to go. He told them: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Jesus then instructed the seventy disciples saying, “Go: I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a pure or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. When you enter a house, first say ‘peace to this house’. If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. When you enter a town and are welcome, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, “The kingdom of God is near you. But, when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Jesus spoke against some cities where his miracles were performed because they refused to believe in Him. The cities were Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernum. Jesus finally said to them: “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

The seventy disciples went on the mission and were successful. They returned with joy and said to Jesus: “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name”. Jesus replied them by saying: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven”.

At that time, Jesus was full of joy through the Holy Spirit and said: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes Father, for this was you good pleasure. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the son is except the father, and no one know who the father is except the son and those to whom the son chooses to reveal him”.

Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said privately to them: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and Kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

The Significance of the Mission of the Seventy

  1. The disciples in the mission of the seventy cast out the evil spirit through the name of Jesus. Faithful Christians are doing the same today. They are performing miracles, signs and wonders in the name of Jesus, in Churches, Crusades, revivals, Christian retreats and meetings.
  2. The disciples were obedient to Jesus’ instruction and they were able to cast out demons. When we obey instructions of God as written in the Bible, it shall be well with us. We must also learn to obey constituted authorities like religious leaders, parents and teachers in order to achieve success.
  3. The mission of the twelve disciples represents the mission to the Jews, while the mission of the seventy represents the mission to the Gentiles (foreigner). God wants us to reach out to all the people in the world.

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