Posted under Reflections on February 3rd, 2010 by
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick– no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”
Mk 6,8-11
Jesus is sending his disciples as missionaries two by two. Probably one has to be a witness for the other. Or only when two bear witness together on anything, then the facts are acceptable. There is no time for dispute and verifications. Two together are already sufficient to verify. So what they preach has to be  accepted without much suspicion and doubt. 
The author here allows them to take a walking stick along with them and they are allowed to wear sandals.  So it is a journey and that too a long journey. Walking stick is a support when they are tired, yet they have to keep on walking with the help of the stick; They cannot give up because they are tired. Keep going and going. Sandals again are for a journey – that too a journey along difficult (rough, thorny) paths. 
So their missionary journey is long and difficult. 
They are not to take food, money, a second tunic etc. The journey is for an immediate return. There is no holidaying or picnicking along the way. It is not a leisure trip.  It is: go for a job, finish the job and return. That is why they are asked to shake off the dust if not welcomed.  There is no time to plead, argue, convince etc.
There is another interesting note on this:
It is said that when a Jew goes on a trip to a foreign land on his way back he stands at the border  and shakes off the dust  from his sandals before entering into his own land (Israel). He should not bring in the dust of another country thus bring another (land’s) god in. God is in the dust too. See 2 kings chapter 5 where in Naaman asks for two sacks of sand from the land of Israel to build an Altar for the LORD and to offer sacrifice for the LORD. God is mingled with the sand.
So if they do not accept your message then they do not  believe in the God whom you are presenting them with. Shake off the dust. Move to another.
So carry only the message and nothing for the journey 


Posted under Reflections on February 2nd, 2010 by

He departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. (Mk 6,1-2)
Native place, in the case of Jesus, seems to raise a question. Native place is where one has grown from his childhood days. The people of the place know the individual thoroughly. They know his origin, his parents, his talents, his strengths and  weaknesses.
They have a slot and one has to fit into that fully. The way one dresses, speaks and moves about can be easily 
detected (and predicted) if one knows the place of the origin of the individual. One is cultured in his own village.
When one behaves differently in his own native place then people wonder as if something has happened to him. 
People expected him to be another synagogue preacher. They expected him to tell people how to obey the law of God. They thought that he would explain the prophets.
But he was speaking on his own authority: and from where he was, the kingdom was etc. This is the odd thing. But they have heard what he has done in other places and what he has preached and how people followed him in crowds.
Lack of faith, it seems, seriously hinders Jesus’ power. This is an important message. 
When Jesus is seen with human eyes, social eyes etc, then he is a Jew and all that he has that belong to the 
town of Nazareth. 
When he is seen with an eye of faith, then he is the Son of  God, Messiah, preacher of the kingdom of God and 
miracle  worker.
Will we find faith in the native place, in our relatives and friends. Caution: this should not be an excuse for our inactivity.
Faith yes, even in the native place!!!
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