Mark 6: 7 - 9
'And he called unto him the twelve and began to sent them forth by two and two: and gave them power over unclean spirits; and commanded them that they should take nothing for the journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: but be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.'
The Lord was giving instructions to the disciples before they take the journey to the ends of the world to preach the gospel. The disciples of Christ were between the age group 16 - 30 years. People in the prime of their lives, full of energy and aspirations....called out by Christ to be witnesses for him....wouldn't that be real challenging...leaving our comfort zone to follow someone who claimed to be God.....can you picture yourself in their shoes?....It would have been the biggest turning point in their lives....and the most difficult one too. The verse does not literally mean 'no scrip,...' it actually should be interpreted as 'take no thought of your scrip.'
'Carry with you no scrip.' What's a scrip? As per the dictionary definition a scrip is a legal certificate of your land or property. The disciples had left behind everything to follow Christ. They were going out on a mission.....who knows when they would return....maybe they'd lose their property and shelter as a price to pay for the call. Whatever, the call that Christ asked them to follow was a costly one indeed. They were poor people as we read that they were just fishermen and some loafers. Christ through this instruction asked them to be pilgrims on this earth. Christ had promised them that he's going to prepare for them mansions in heaven. Indirectly Christ called them to complete dependence on him, to be as pilgrims looking for a heavenly city whose builder and maker was God where neither moth or rust would corrupt.
'Take no thought of bread.' The disciples were normal people like us. Imagine living without food for a day! Your stomach would immediately start grumbling. So did it mean that they were supposed to go around begging for food? Even if they carried food, it would get over in a couple of days. Then what? Christ called to dependence on him even on daily things. It required much faith and to have such great faith needed a lot of grace from God. Christ said when he was being tempted be Satan, "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the Word of God."What is the bread that we depend on in our day-to-day lives? Maybe our studies, our profession, our job,....In our Christian pilgrim journey such things can take more priority in our day to lives. That is why Christ told do not take thought for such things, he will provide and will provide us the best.
'Take no thought of the money in your purse'.....did that mean that they were supposed to be broke and beggars? They had left their profession for following Christ...how would they survive??....no money??Here too they were called to dependence on Christ. An illustration could best explain this. A father would never despise his child when he asks' him something needed. On the other hand the child need not bother as to how his father would provide it to him. he just had to believe in him. Would they have sufficient money to carry on the day?....all these would distract them from them from the mission that they had been called to. When riches increase in our daily lives, sorrow will also increase. For a disciple on a mission it would be more justified for him to concentrate on the mission than on the things that make up the mission. a verse to sum it up, "the sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much, but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep."
'Carry no two raiments.' So it would mean that they go around in their 10 days old stinky attire? Here the second raiment means a mask of hypocrisy. It is better to carry one label of yourself than carrying two that just increases the weight. Disciples of Christ...call to be witnesses for Christ....but they also had a human nature that could show itself out many a times. That's what Jesus told them not to carry along but put on only one raiment that pleases God. Hypocrisy is the biggest weakness in a Christian's life. As time passes by one could start getting weary and tend to fall. Keep it aside and walk a true Christian life was the instruction Christ gave them.
Christ didn't end his instructions there. He encouraged them by telling them two things, 'carry a staff, be shod with sandals'.
The staff is used by a shepherd for guiding his sheep. The staff here represents the word of God. It is the word of God that guides, corrects, encourages...During the mission one could get weary...getting back to his word is the best solution at that time. when things go wrong getting back on your knees and seeking God's help is the best way out. They were going to preach the gospel of peace. If they weren't prepared for the problems and tests, they would be utter failure in their life.That is why Christ tells them that they should be shod with sandals which is the prepartion of the gospel of peace.
We find many practical applications of these in our day to day lives. Lets look back into our life and find where we stand in our pilgrim journey.