NETWORKING WITH GOD
He told them: “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic...” Luke 9:3
Why did Jesus instruct His disciples not to take extra clothes, provisions or money with them when He sent them out to preach? Was it, since they were on kingdom business, that the King would take responsibility to care for their physical needs – in fulfilment of His promise in Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well”?
But God always comes to us through human agents. People do the caring and providing using the resources God provides for them through other people, and so on.
Why not carry their own provisions and money instead of relying on their hosts to provide for them? Was it because they could travel faster and more comfortably unencumbered? But, more than that, there is something about sowing into someone else’s ministry that mysteriously connects us with that person so that their anointing is imparted to us. It becomes a partnership, in a sense, where the giver shares in the harvest of the sower.
Is it about connectedness? Since we are reflections of God’s image, we express our oneness with God and with each other by partnering with those who go, by giving and sharing our resources to make their going possible.
If people refuse to connect by not partnering with those who come to them, they become disconnected from the blessing and anointing of the messengers of the good news. They disqualify themselves from receiving the blessing of Jesus, the Rabbi, in whose dust we walk. By shaking the dust of our feet off that household, are we not saying, “You may have refused to receive the message of the Rabbi, but the door is always open, and so I leave you with my Rabbi’s blessing in the hopes that you will recognise and receive its value and open your heart to receive His blessing”?
It was in this spirit of generosity, both giving and receiving, that the disciples went, and in the going, sowed seeds of truth and left the blessing of their Rabbi wherever they went. They created a network of partners who shared as they listened and received as they gave, so that the disciples’ message blanketed the region where they had been, extending and increasing the influence of their Rabbi’s yoke wherever they went. This is the way the gospel not only changes the lives of individuals but, by networking, it also blankets whole geographical areas with the message and power of God’s grace and weakens the hold of demonic powers over regions.