Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
In Mark 6:7-13 Jesus sends his apostles out by twos. They are given authority over demons and were able to heal the sick as well as engage in proclamation of the Gospel.
All the needs of Jesus' apostles would be taken care of on their journey. They were not to take provisions, money, or extra clothing, though they were to wear sandals rather than going barefoot. They were to take a staff with them, which would provide them with some measure of comfort and a little bit of self-defense.
How did the apostles get by on this journey? People would take them in. What people? Probably people who had been rescued from illness or unclean spirits, or who were glad for the work the apostles were doing. Word would get around the communities that the people doing miraculous works of healing were there.
The apostles would normally be welcomed, but not uniformly. If a place would not receive them, the apostles could "shake off the dust" from their feet (v. 11, ESV), figuratively wiping their feet on the way out the door.
By and large, the work seemed successful, according to all the measures we have. They healed a lot of people, they proclaimed repentance, and apparently they were received most of the time.
The work of the Christian today is rather similar. Though we normally don't have Jesus' strict command not to provide for ourselves, Christians involved in many types of ministry receive their provision from the generosity of those they minister to. Over the years I've been involved in Christian work, even my walking stick has worn out and been replaced, not to mention many pairs of shoes!
Sadly, I have also been in several situations which have reminded me of the apostles' wiping of their feet on the way out the door. But it has not been very often. For the most part, I've had the honor of bringing God's words of hope and help to people who receive them gladly. The Lord has provided and has used me as his instrument of grace.
The work goes on. Keep laboring! Trust that the Lord is able to care for his own.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.