Mark 3:7-19; 6:7-13 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. Why do you think Jesus sent out His disciples two by two? Note Deuteronomy 19:15b (printed below)

A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (Deuteronomy 19:15b)

According to Old Testament law, a matter was verified by the testimony of at least two witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15b). Going out two by two would lend credence to the disciples’ message and prevent it from being dismissed due to a lack of the prescribed number of witnesses.

2. Why does Jesus instruct His disciples to take along no extra provisions for their journey? See, especially, Matthew 10:10 (printed below). What, if any, meaning does this have for us today?

…take no wallet along on your journey. Neither take two tunics, nor extra shoes, nor staff; for the laborer is worthy of his food. (Matthew 10:10)

At the very outset of their public ministry, the Lord wanted to teach His disciples that they can and should depend upon Him to meet their needs. Since they are being employed by Him, He is responsible and faithful to supply them with their necessary provisions. Although this was a specific charge to these twelve men intended for this particular excursion, we, too, must learn to depend upon the Lord to meet our needs.

3. What did the apostles do on this mission trip? See, especially, Mark 6:12-13 (printed below)

So they went out and preached that men should repent. (13) And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them. (Mark 6:12-13)

Their primary task was preaching, specifically, preaching that men should repent (Mark 6:12) for the kingdom of God was coming soon (Matthew 10:7). Their message was confirmed by the miraculous abilities Christ gave them to cast out demons, heal the sick (Mark 6:13) and even raise the dead (Matthew 10:8).

4. To whom were the apostles sent on this first mission trip? See Matthew 10:5-6 (printed below) Why?

These twelve Jesus sent out and charged them, saying, Do not go among the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; (6) but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10:5-6)

On this first mission trip the apostles were strictly charged to go only to the people of Israel, not to the Gentiles or the Samaritans. Following our Lord’s ascension, the apostles would be sent into all the world (Matthew 28:19-20), but prior to that time God’s primary focus was on Israel. During the Old Testament era there existed a spiritual wall of separation between the Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:14), mainly intended to preserve Israel and prevent them from being assimilated into the Gentile world. Nevertheless, even during the Old Testament era there were Gentiles who were converted and entered into the community of God’s people.

5. Why were the apostles instructed to accept no remuneration for their ministry? See Matthew 10:8b-9 (printed below)

You have received without charge; give without charge. (9) Accept no gold, nor silver, nor copper for your money bags (Matthew 10:8b-9)

The apostles were to provide their ministry without charge to the people as a way of emphasizing the fact that salvation is all by the grace of God, men can neither earn it nor purchase it. Just as the apostles were saved by grace, so they must freely offer the grace of God to others.