Taking A Risk
Life-giving Creator, You formed my inward being and knit me together in my mother’s womb. I know You are always at work.
Read Mark 6:6-13
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Yet to all who received him … he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Praise God now that you are his child.
Have you ever taken a risk? For those of you who are parents, how did you feel the first time you allowed your children to go out without you? One day I will have to face that with my daughter. I am not looking forward to it!
In our reading today, Jesus is actually taking a big risk. He sends out his disciples; they are men who were terrified when Jesus calmed the storm (4:41), who constantly misunderstand Jesus and who are not yet certain who he really is. Throughout the Gospels, the disciples’ failures are more impressive than their successes (8:17-21,31-33; 9:19). Jesus sends the twelve–Judas Iscariot among them–giving them authority to expel demons. He gives them instructions about traveling light, removing from them any sense of self-reliance. He provides instructions about accepting hospitality and what their response should be if their message is rejected. These are emergency instructions for an urgent mission; however, Jesus has not waited until the disciples possess a full understanding of his identity or his destiny. He has not waited until they have demonstrated outstanding discipleship. He sends them out now. He takes a risk. And out they go, preaching that “people should repent” (12).
Frequently in our churches we prevent those we don’t think have yet demonstrated sufficient Christian maturity, or who have not passed some form of test, from being involved in Christian service. We won’t take a risk. Jesus’ example here tells us that we might have that wrong. Yes, taking a risk can be dangerous, but Jesus was prepared to do so. In the end, despite all their failures, these men (with the exception of Judas) turned the world upside down. Their training started here. Perhaps we need to take a risk on someone! Who knows what the results might be?
Is there someone with whom you need to take a risk? Learn the lesson of Jesus and do so.
Heavenly Lord, You’ve taken many risks with me. You’ve worked in spite of me rather than because of me. What a great God You are!
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