Two by Two

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus sends out his twelve disciples on their first ministry trip in his name. Mark 6:7 says that Jesus did not send them out as individuals, which would have made sense. He could have twelve men working in different places, and their impact would have been multiplied. Instead, he cuts their efforts in half and sends them out in groups of two.

In Luke chapter 10, Jesus will send out the 72 people who have been following him throughout his ministry. Once again, he begins by telling them to find a buddy and stay together. He sends them out two by two to every town and place he is about to go (Luke 10:1).

In the book of Acts, Paul never travels alone. He does ministry with Barnabas by his side. He is also joined by John-Mark, Luke, Silas, and Timothy. Paul’s mission trips are always made in at least groups of two, even though Paul was highly capable of doing it by himself.

We live in an individualistic culture that likes to do everything alone, including our spiritual life. Scripture never paints a picture of the followers of Jesus, attempting anything alone. Faith is neither private nor personal. The experience of faith is lived out in community from our gatherings on Sunday morning to the sharing of Jesus on Tuesday night. Ministry is done together.

The call of the Church is not just to love Jesus, but to do it with one another. This action will open our eyes to a different perspective, help us see issues to which we might be blind, give us accountably, and challenge us in ways we never expected. Ministry with other people will not be easy, and it will stretch us and help us mature as believers. I also think that is the point.

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