Extra Thoughts on Mark 6:7-13

If you haven’t yet listened to this week’s sermon, find it here. 

Our passage this week tells us that Jesus sent the twelve out in pairs to preach repentance. Matthew’s account (Matt. 10:2-4) seems to give us the pairings, Peter and Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, James and Thaddeus, and Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. There is no mention of the length of the mission. There is also no mention of the specific towns that the disciples went to. The important thing is that they preached repentance.

Continuing the Work

Nineteenth-century theologian Charles John Ellicott points to this mission of the apostles as a continuation of the work of John the Baptist. This work was to call people to repentance and baptize them as a symbol of that repentance, both of which scripture shows the twelve doing. Ellicott’s assertion is a sensible one. The next passage mentions that Herod thinks that John the Baptist has been raised from the dead and tells the story of his execution. Surely these two events were linked in the mind of his witness Peter. Imagine Herod’s panic after killing John to find the same message being proclaimed by a dozen more men.

A Simple Message

The simple message, shared by John the Baptist and the apostles, is meant to be shared by us as well. We are to call people to repentance. Simply, that means to turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. We are expected to announce the Kingdom of Christ. It is our job to tell people that He reigns and that they must submit to Him. This message was so simple that it could be shared with the world by twelve uneducated men who simply followed Christ. It is our job to do the same.