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The mission of the twelve

Published

Luke 9:1-6psalm

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

Reflection

Jesus summoned the Twelve. Jesus is called Rabbi (Teacher) by many of his followers. In the Gospel, we get a glimpse of his ways. While prospective students of the law usually choose the teacher under whom they will study, Jesus’ followers are handpicked by him (cf Lk 6:13). The Twelve are not only mathetai, followers and companions of Jesus in his ministry. They are apostoloi, people who are sent on a mission (v 2; cf Lk 6:13). Jesus expects them to continue his work when he returns to the Father.

Jesus then goes about preparing the Twelve for their mission. He gives them specific instructions so that they will know what to do. He tells them how to cope with tough times. Above all, Jesus empowers them – he passes on to them his authority. The expression “power and authority” is repeatedly used by Luke to refer to Jesus’ ability to rebuke both demons and diseases (4:36; 5:17; 6:19). Encouragement without empowerment is enthusiasm without direction. Jesus himself is the recipient of his Father’s trust and empowerment.

Unlike the other evangelists, Luke also mentions the sending of another group: the seventy-two disciples (cf Lk 10:1-12). In the Christian community, it is not only the Twelve who are active but also “apostles and evangelists” who form a bigger circle and who preach the Gospel far and wide.

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2017,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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