In the 9th and 10th chapters of Luke, and in the 10th chapter of Matthew we read about an exercise which Jesus used as a way to teach his disciples more about God’s provision and to strengthen their faith. (Luke 9:1-5) First, he sends just the twelve apostles out, with instructions to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Take note that this is before the Day of Pentecost, and even before Jesus died on the cross. Nevertheless, Jesus appeared to believe that God’s Spirit was present in such power at that time that the disciples would be able not only to survive, but to actually thrive spiritually despite (or maybe because of) the restrictions he placed on them for that brief period of time. We don’t know if this was a one-off experience, or if they did it from time to time but I’m sure it came in handy during the various missionary journeys that awaited most of them. For ourselves, we have found these little survival outreaches to be so inspiring that most of us have done them more than once, learning new lessons each time we have gone out. So, the disciples were sent off without money or food, and without a change of clothes. They were to ultimately depend on God but Jesus made it clear that God would use the generosity of the people in each village they visited to provide accommodation and other needs for them as well. (Matthew 10:1, 7-12) In Matthew’s account of this same experiment, there is much more detail. However, it is not clear in either passage whether the 12 apostles travelled in pairs (as happened in a later incident) or whether they travelled together en masse. The instructions Jesus gives here are stricter than what he and his followers experienced most of the time. Because the details differ in these two different accounts we here on A Voice in the Desert have tended to be flexible with regard to which items each person feels confident to leave behind while on such a mission within our own fellowship. Differences are often dictated by the local climate or terrain as well as by the health and strength of each participant. Some optional provisions might be photo ID, medications, glasses, a map, pen and paper mobile phone, deodorant, a change of underwear, a comb or brush and so far, only a handful of us have chosen to go barefoot. My wife and I once took two sleeping bags for a week of cold, wet weather in Australia. Just keeping the bags dry was a somewhat comical challenge in itself. Elsewhere on this channel, there is a video re-enactment of a three-day faith outreach that I went on in 2018 just to give a feel for how such an experiment might go if we were to do so today. In that particular one, I was dealing with my own fear of the cold even though the temperature did not drop below freezing. There is a link to that video in the description of this video. Please watch it to get a better idea about how such a mission might progress. (Matthew 10:40-42) The entire 10th chapter of Matthew includes teachings about our need to face persecution when following Christ, trusting him not only for protection, but also for provision in situations such as these faith outreaches. Jesus concludes that chapter with comments about how people who give to his disciples (on the understanding that they are helping a prophet or a disciple of God) will receive special blessings from God in return for their generosity. (Luke 10:1, 4-9) According to Luke, a short time later, Jesus sent 70 more people out in pairs to do much the same thing that he had trained his twelve apostles to do. It is quite likely that the twelve were also a part of this campaign. Again, the restrictions were stricter than what these followers of Jesus normally endured. We know, for example, from other passages in the Bible that the disciples had a bag in which they kept donations and that they had at least one change of clothes some of which Jesus instructed them to sell just before his crucifixion, in order to buy a sword. One of the points that Jesus raises in all three of these accounts is that this exercise is a test of the general public as much as it is a test of his followers. He uses the word “worthy” to get this point across. Notice the phrase in the seventh verse of the passage on your screen now where Jesus says, “The labourer is worthy of his hire.” This same word “worthy” appears in Matthew’s reference to the earlier mission. where Jesus tells his followers to ask around to determine who is “worthy” to support his followers. In today’s world, there is so little faith that people tend to think that those of us who are doing the work of preaching the Gospel are the ones who should be grateful if the public so much as gives us a cup of water and our detractors have no problem with looking down their noses at us as being a blight on society for not getting out there and working for money like everyone else. But Jesus was clear that it is the public themselves who should be clamouring for the absolute privilege of helping God’s servants. I’m not saying that to boast or because we are desperate for money but we do need to get over this lie that the world and many religious people throw at us saying that we are beggars, and that we are not contributing to the betterment of the world. Paul said, “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” Our message is the answer to all the problems of the world, if only people would listen to it. These days, I tend not to even consider asking for help from professing Christians when on such an outreach as I feel there are so few who ARE worthy to help us, and those who are, will be led to us by God directly. But, with or without a cup of cold water from worthy supporters we have found that God always meets our needs, and we thank him for that. So there you have it in brief. Please take the time to read right through the entire tenth chapter of Luke and the entire 10th chapter of Matthew both, for more background to this exciting adventure. Survival outreaches like this are an aspect of living by faith that you have probably never even heard about before much less experienced in any church that you have ever attended. But, if you would like to go on such a mission, even if it’s just for two or three days in company with others of us who have been on a few already, just contact me and let me know what country you live in. It may involve travel over quite a long distance just to link up with someone but I think it would be well worth the effort if you can plan for such a visit. My email address is on screen right now. Please write to me. And, as usual, I would appreciate it if you could subscribe to this channel, give this video an upvote share it with others, and click on the bell icon so that you will be notified as other videos in this series come out. Bye for now!