You ARE the Equipment | Matthew 10:5-10
Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.” Matthew 10:5-10 | MSG
Isn’t it curious that we have much more detailed instructions for what we know as the “Limited Commission” that we assume no longer applies to us than we do for the “Great Commission” which we clearly believe does apply to us? Do we have such detailed instructions about this first sending out of the twelve two by two to their Jewish neighbors because these instructions are in fact relevant to us as we set out on the larger, more adventurous, more comprehensive quest to be neighbors to all of humanity? In our western culture we put such stock in formal education and training, in books and workshops, in lectures and copious note taking. We can spend half our lifetime (and all our income) in training before we ever get around to doing, or going, anywhere. Jesus called these twelve guys to be with him. Daily. For maybe six months. They followed him around everywhere. They heard what he said. They saw what he did and how he did it. And then, without so much as one weekend seminar formally entitled, “How to Have Your Own Successful Limited Commission” he told them, “Okay. Your turn. Go.” And rather than putting things into their hands to take, he was like an officer aboard the sinking Titanic removing things from their hands. “Get rid of this. No, are you crazy? You don’t need that. There’s no room for this. Toss that bag, get rid of that suitcase.” No wallet. No cash. No cards. No suitcase. No volumes. No podcasts. No equipment. Because you – You. Are. The. Equipment. Perhaps I can be bold enough to suggest that the point here is not that we become legalistic about packing suitcases for mission trips, but rather that we come face to face with this freeing truth: it’s who you are – or perhaps better, who you are becoming in Christ, that is most needed in this world, not your finely tuned skill set or credentialed achievements. It’s not what we bring, it’s who we are. It is in being that we can finally get going.
In going and serving, what does it mean for you to “travel light”? What baggage do you need to drop?
Lord Jesus, as it would please you, bring me someone today whom I can serve.
One practice. Each day. Hopefully in multiple, unanticipated, creative ways. Don’t just choose to serve today. Be a servant today with all of the inconvenience, all the lack of recognition, all the potential humiliation that entails. Let your pride and agendas go. Be. That. Servant.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.