Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy, and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid. Don’t take along any gold, silver, or copper coins. And don’t carry a traveling bag, or an extra shirt or sandals or a walking stick. – Matthew 10:8-10 (Contemporary English Version)

*   *   *

Jesus dispatched his first disciples to their first round of field work under stringent restrictions. They went about in a leap of faith, indeed. Moreover, they have healing actions to perform – it’s not just a matter of teaching and preaching.

Their narratives of what happened in their adventures is lost to antiquity. The details would no doubt be fascinating.

Yet that’s what missionaries set out to do today, abroad and at home. Many of them go without pay or their usual comforts, too.

*   *   *

And this Word that reconcileth, is not afar off, it is not in Heaven that any should say, Who shall go up for us, and bring it down to us, that we may hear it and do it? Neither is it beyond the Sea, that any should say, Who shall go over the Sea for us, and fetch it to us thence; but the Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart, that thou mayst hear it and do it, as was testified by Moses, a Man of God, and also by Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)


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