Team Evangelism

3 September 2017 AM – Mark 6:7-13 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Someone has wisely said that Jesus’ last command ought to be our first concern. What was that last command? We find it in (Mark 16:15) “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” In our text today, Jesus sent out his 12 disciples on team evangelism.

Transition: As we examine the pattern, the power, the provision and the purpose of Jesus’ team evangelism; we will find several things that can help us in fulfilling Jesus’ last command.

1.        The Pattern (v.7)

a.         Jesus sent the disciples two by two
1)         Jesus divided up the disciples into teams of two and sent them out. Another time He did the same when He sent out seventy disciples. (Luke 10:1) “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.”
2)         We are not told why Jesus sent them out two by two. Perhaps it is because the law stated: “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (2Cor 13:1 quoting Deu 19:15)
3)         It could also be as Solomon stated that companions are helpful. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”
b.         The Bible does not command this pattern
1)         We are not required to have a partner when we are witnessing for Christ. Sometimes one-on-one conversations give more liberty.
2)         Having a partner while witnessing has several benefits.
a)         Fellowship to cheer the heart
b)         Encouragement when responses are negative
c)         Support if you get asked a difficult question
d)         Protection from false accusations
e)         Correctness when speaking with the opposite gender

2.        The Power (v.7)

a.         Jesus gave the disciples the power over demons
1)         Before sending out the disciples, Jesus gave them the power to cast out demons.
2)         That was supernatural power given by Jesus Himself.
3)         Was demon possession more common in Jesus’ day than in ours? We do not know. It certainly seems to have been more open than today.
4)         Matthew 10:1 and Luke 9:1 both record that Jesus also gave them the power to heal the sick.
5)         Matthew included other instructions regarding where they were to preach. (Matthew 10:5-6) “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
b.         God promised us the power of the Holy Spirit
1)         The primary power that the Lord gave to Christians is the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We need this power to witness effectively.
2)         The Holy Spirit lives within every true believer and He wants to empower us for witnessing. However, to claim that power, we must walk in the Spirit by fleeing from sin and drawing close to God. Powerless Christians are useless witnesses!
3)         While the Lord may answer a dedicated Christian’s prayer to cast out a demon when that is needful, it is not a common event today.

3.        The Provisions (v.8-11)

a.         They were to limit their provisions (v.8-9)
1)         The limit:
a)         They were only to take their staff or walking stick. Matthew and Luke record that they were not to take staves (plural of staff). One was allowed but not two.
b)         They were to take no scrip which was a bag of provisions.
c)         They were not to take any bread (lit. food).
d)         They were not to take any money in their purse which was a fold in their girdle or belt that held money.
e)         They were not to take two coats. The word translated coats describes their under shirt or garment worn next to the skin.
f)          They were to wear sandals, but not to take an extra pair (Mt 10:10).
2)         The reason: Matthew gives us the reason for these slim provisions. (Matthew 10:10) “… for the workman is worthy of his meat.” In other words, those who heard them preach were to provide their daily needs of food and clothing. Jesus may have been building the faith of His disciples.
3)         The application: Jesus did not give these limitations as a standard that we must follow today, but the principle still applies. If we are not careful, the things of this world will dominate our lives. (Colossians 3:1-2) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
b.         They were to lodge with hospitable hosts (v.10-11)
1)         When someone welcomed them into their home, they were to stay there until they left town (v.10).
2)         Whenever someone refused them hospitality, when they left, they were to shake off the dust from their feet and move on. Jesus said that on Judgment Day it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha than for them.
a)         Sodom and Gomorrha were the cities that God destroyed by fire in the days of Abraham.
b)         Remember, Lot lived in Sodom. It was a wicked city full of vile sins and homosexuality.
c)         Jesus’ warning about those who are not hospitable to travelling preachers is very severe.
3)         This shows us that God places a very high value on sharing the Gospel with others as well as on treating preachers and missionaries hospitably. Paul reinforced this in (1 Timothy 5:17) “Let the elders [preachers] that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”

4.        The Purpose (v.12-13)

a.         Jesus said, preach repentance and help the needy
1)         The six evangelistic teams went out and preached that people should repent.
a)         We remember that to repent is to change the mind.
b)         Many will go to hell because they have a wrong mind about their sin and about the way to heaven. They must repent – change their mind and agree with God that because of their sin they deserve to go to hell and agree with God that the death and resurrection of Christ to pay for their sin is the only means of forgiveness and entrance into heaven.
2)         They also cast out demons, anointed the sick with oil and healed the sick. We already mentioned the casting out of demons. The anointing with oil was first a form of medication (e.g., Good Samaritan). It was also done in conjunction with praying for the sick (Jas 5:14). Others they had God’s power to heal.
b.         Our purpose today is somewhat similar
1)         We are to preach that people may repent and turn to Christ. Preaching is not just for the preacher. It is the duty of every Christian.
2)         The Lord has not given us His divine power to heal, but we can certainly pray over the sick and ask God to heal them.
Conclusion: Did you try to share the Gospel with anyone this week? That is to be our first concern in life. We have learned that witnessing with a friend is helpful. Depending on God’s power is vital. Keeping our focus right is important. And our purpose is to preach repentance and help others. If you are a Christian, you can do these things. Ask a friend to go with you and start being a witness this week.

Song: Give Me a Passion for Souls – 306