September 11, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
When the Lord sent out the twelve disciples He commanded them to not take any wallet (scrip), bread, or money. Why? Probably a few reasons.
One was to teach them faith. Being men that were accustomed to earning their own living they needed to transfer their trust from themselves to the Lord God. I was called later in life. I had a great job that paid me very well. Before my senior year of Bible college I made an appointment with my Pastor, Dr. Bob Smith. In that meeting I asked my pastor if He would consider allowing me to be a “pastor intern” for the next year. I assured him that I would pay my own way and not need anything from the church (the Lord allowed me to use money I’d earned, but the lesson was the same). The purpose was to teach me to live by faith. Having always had a good, secure income caused me to sort of trust the corporation I worked for instead of God for a steady stream of money. Interestingly, that year turned into about eighteen months, according to our budget we should have needed to only use about half of that which we had in savings. By the time I was called to the pastorate all our reserve was gone. The transmission went out, the hot water heater, my children needed this, that, and the other thing. Things like hospital visits, etc. My wife and I learned through this how to trust God as the permanent source of our income.
Another reason that the Lord may have put this constraint on the disciples was how to deal with scarcity. No doubt these disciples did not eat in restaurants, or stay in nice hotels, if there were such things then. They stayed wherever they were invited to stay and ate what was put before them. Probably each had good experiences and not so good of an experience. They had to learn to do without while maintaining a right spirit.
Something else that could have been a “teaching moment” for these disciples was how to look after one another. Being sent out …two and two… meant working together as a team. Church work is teamwork. Always has been and always will be.
The work that the disciples of Christ were to carry out necessitated these and other lessons of faith. They uniformly needed to learn to trust God for their needs, learn to deal with scarcity, and learn teamwork. All of these things in addition to learning about the actual ministering aspect of their calling which too few seem to remember even today. The preacher’s call is not to be about personal income, acquiring worldly goods, or even building a great team; the actual work is ministry to souls. On their journey they helped many, the Bible says as much. How much is many? More than a few and less than a host. For one preacher 50 may be many, for another 500 may be. Different numbers but the same calling, ministry based on faith and faith alone.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.