Take Nothing for the Journey
“He told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey -- no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.’” (Luke 9:3-5, NIV)
I’m drawn to the simplicity of Jesus’ instructions to the disciples as He sent them off to preach the Gospel. I’m struck by the contrast when I compare the disciples’ preparations with the process Karen and I go through when we travel. My wife is the ultimate planner and organizer. She spends days researching our destination on the Internet and engaging me in conversation about our trip. We set goals and plan our itinerary. We create a budget and discuss what to take. We spend time packing and rechecking our bags to make sure we didn’t forget key items (cell phone charger). We prepare for emergencies and create contingencies. We even evaluate and critique the trip afterwards and discuss what worked and what did not work, and whether or not we would ever go back or recommend the destination to friends and family.
I think I would struggle with Jesus’ commandment to the disciples, “take nothing for the journey.” As I reflect on my potential hesitation and resistance, the Holy Spirit revealed the truth of Jesus’ teaching. He was trying to equip and prepare the disciples for their ultimate journey. He encouraged and motivated them to trust God for their provision and welfare. He prepared them to walk by faith and showed them how to trust Him in the moment. He taught them the need to always press on and to forget the past.
Jesus was preparing the disciples for the most important journey the world has ever known. I am humbled by the life lessons in this passage. I praise God, that I’m learning to face each day like the disciples. In fact, I am praying someday Karen and I will boldly and confidently go on a trip equipped only with the name of Jesus. As I write this, the Holy Spirit reminds me, what more do we need?
Father, thank you for your provision. Holy Spirit, teach me to trust in and rely on You at all times. Remind me that when I take nothing, I am forced to rely on You, and You are all I need. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
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