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Mark 6 v 7 - 13

In understanding this passage, it would be helpful to know what the ordinary Jewish person wore in the first century: he would dress with five items-a tunic, which was a long piece of cloth, sewn down one side and holes cut for arms; the outer garment was used as a cloak by day and a blanket by night, often two piece of cloth each seven feet by two feet sewn together. However, specially made cloaks would be of one piece as Jesus' was- John 19 v 23. There was also a girdle, which could be used to bunch the cloak in to run or could form a pocket to carry money. Every Jew would also have a head dress, protecting the face and neck from the sun and obviously, sandals.

Hospitality was a sacred duty in Israel, a reminder that Abraham entertained angels unaware. It would have been the duty of each village to offer it and an affront if the traveller was turned away. We can see from this passage then that the overarching marks of the Christian disciple was to be complete simplicity, trust and the generosity which seeks to give wholeheartedly without expecting to receive.

We also have here a brief summary of the work that the Twelve accomplished after Jesus had sent them out:

1. They took the message of Jesus to the people. It may appear obvious, but it is of vital importance for us to be reminded that the disciples didn't take their own message to everyone, but the words of Jesus. They took the message which they had previously received from Jesus.

2. The message of Jesus was: ''Repent!'' A tough message to receive and even more difficult to respond to.

3. They brought the King's grace to people. From the very beginning Christianity has sought to bring health to body, mind and soul. It was a message of Good News, bringing new life to those who were oppressed, demon-possessed and chronically sick. It demonstrated that the disciples had been given the same power as Jesus had!


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