Jesus continues to proclaim the scandal of God’s incarnation by sending twelve former fisherman, tax collectors, and day laborers to do the miraculous. Can you imagine being commanded to cast out unclean spirits and heal the sick? Whether or not the disciples believe in Jesus at this early juncture, it is clear that Jesus believes in them.
I suspect their departure on this journey wasn’t as uneventful as Mark’s spare prose. Like the crowd in Nazareth, the disciples may have laughed at Jesus’ instructions, even argued with him. Yet they put one foot in front of the other, spoke up in foreign marketplaces, knocked on strange doors, shared unfamiliar tables, and saw God do the unthinkable through their obedience.
I think the disciples succeed in being vessels for God’s power precisely because they relinquish their own. As outsiders without money, they could not exert power or authority. With no extra food or clothing, they could not pretend to be self-reliant. With no formal training or education, they could not claim to have superior knowledge.
Jesus would not allow them to be anything but their vulnerable selves. All they could do was show up fully and honestly and believe that God could work through them.
Do you believe that Jesus believes in you?
Ever-present God, give me the strength to be vulnerable and present, trusting that you desire to work through me just as I am. Amen.