How does Christ provide for His Disciples as shown in the Scriptures? There is a pattern in this passage that I have personally experienced. Provision shown in Scripture is for His Disciples, ones who lay down their lives for Him. This passage is specific to the provision for those who were doing His will & following. We are going to see individual provision & community provision (same pattern in both). We will see how amongst Christ Disciples there is a network of shared provision. The generosity of ‘Christ’s Surrendered Disciples’ is used by God as a means to provide for other surrendered disciples. Of course He does the heavy lifting! Our part is to venture out with open hearts & hands to join Christ in His work and to take chances while living for the Gospel, trusting Christ will provide.
One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. 2 Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
- ‘The Twelve’ Named select group (called by God, confirmed by their following)
- Christ confers power to His chosen disciples (All disciples of Christ are ‘Chosen’)
- The power He gives them is to heal others, to provide freedom, wholeness & life
- Important: power over demons & diseases (not all disease is caused by demons)
- He provides power to be used (use it or lose it)
- He empowers those who act: He provides for those who distribute HIS love
3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. 4 Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town.
- If you are going to be provided for you don’t need to provide for yourself
- This is a class for those who are serving & obeying as true disciples (just 12 now)
- He tells them I am going to provide for you through others (Those who respond)
- God’s people are going to take care of His ‘Co-Workers’ (Don’t steal my blessing!)
- Be good with what he provides, don’t go ‘provision shopping’ (trust God is right)
- Whatever season you are in trust that the way God is providing for you is best
5 And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” 6 So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
- If you are not part of Christ’s providing for His Co-Workers, you are on your own!
- The ‘Circle of Provision’ in The Kingdom of God: be provided for and help provide
- Once given the mission they went.
- This is Christ’s expectation of His disciples: Gospel Living & People Loving!
- They trusted Christ to provide…does it work?
7 When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled. Some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead.
- It is an aside between the two stories, He is interested but clueless
- Classic example of being so self-absorbed you can’t get what God is doing
8 Others thought Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets risen from the dead. 9 “I beheaded John,” Herod said, “so who is this man about whom I hear such stories?” And he kept trying to see him
- Secular view of a limited God: He recycles old guys, only works in certain ways
- Herod thinking he controls something, can’t be John…I dealt with him!
- There is interest in a condescending way… He didn’t try very hard to see Him
10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick.
- Everything ‘THEY’ had done…they knew it was Christ’s power
- Bottom line ‘Stuff happened’! When you rely on God you will see ‘God Stuff’
- He was in Capernaum, went around top of sea of Galilee…
- Even without trying Jesus was drawing crowds
- Once the crowds found Him, He welcomed, taught & healed
- Those who took the time to find him were provided for! It is worth it to seek Him!
- The crowd was there to be discipled: they listened, learned & followed
12 Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.”
- The Twelve wanted to provide for the crowds, but not thinking of the supernatural
- Just like the 12, our ideas of provision are often limited to what we can see
- Just like us they needed to be taught how to get in on the provision network
13 But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” 14 For there were about 5,000 men there.
- They have expressed that there is no way to provide, Christ says: ‘You can do it!’
- Jesus shows them they can’t provide from what they have or what they can get
- it is important for us to get out of our limited perceptions and illusion of control
- I have looked at situations and said, there is no way I can do this…
- When I have walked in faith and obedience I have seen God do what I could not
Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 So the people all sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them.
- 50 is about the perfect size for a fellow ship meal (like we are going to have soon)
- He took what was there and looked to heaven
- He blessed what was shared…His Disciples shared the 5 loves & 2 fish
Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. 17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!
- In order for us to bless others Christ wants to break us first! (Maturation Process)
- Oswald Chambers: ‘We are to be broken bread and poured out wine’.
- We get in on the provision network when we live sacrificially
- Sharing our lives for Him & with Him as Disciples He will use us to provides 4 His
- And as we live in such a manner, we will in turn be provided for by His Disciples
- Midtown Has been provided fro by communities of disciples: New Hope / 1st Woodstock / Crosspoint / 1st Powdersville / Victor Church / 1027
a community of disciples we have provided for communities of
Christ wants us to venture out to do His work, in His power, trusting He will provide.
Christ wants us to be content with the provision He has given us.
Christ wants His disciples to participate in His Provision for His Disciples.
Christ wants to bless both sides of His Disciple Provision Network.
What has kept you from taking chances to share Christ’s message & healing?
What has happened when you did something that required you to really trust God to provide?
Have you not been content with what God has provided? What might change that?
How have you been provided for by Christ’s Disciples? How have you provided for Christ’s Disciples?