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Is the sending of the Twelve descriptive or prescriptive?

Discussion in 'Bibliology & Hermeneutics' started by sccs, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. sccs

    sccs Member

    United States
    The accounts of where Jesus sends out the Twelve apostles are found in Mark 6:7-13, Luke 9:1-6, and Matthew 10:5-15.

    My question is: are the happenings in these versus descriptive (a depiction of what happened and while it may have some over-arching principles, is not command for us to follow today) or prescriptive (a command or principle that should be followed by the church and Christians today).

    In other words, is the Spirit power that Jesus' gives to heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead present in us today?

    His command to not take provisions for oneself, to trust in the hospitality of others, and specifically, to shake the dust off your feet if you or your message is not welcome, should that be a principle for missionaries and Christians today as they go out to evangelize?

    I wanted to hone in also on the shake-the-dust-off-your-feet part. Is that instruction for us today and how is it lived out? Can we determine that a person or group of people have rejected the Gospel message and so we essentially give them over to their sins (Romans 1) and wash our hands of them?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
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  2. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

    United States
    Oriental Orthodox
    I believe that sort of thing still happens today.

    I believe that some people are mockers, hard hearted etc. where you eventually realize after a while that you are casting pearls to pigs.

    In the case of the Gospels, though the shaking the dust off your feet came from people not following the tradition of hospitality. That showed their condition, I would be careful to make that kind of snap judgement in our society unless their was something that was extremely comparable to that kind of litmus test.
  3. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

    United States

    Yes, however it has nothing to do with that verse.

    Not generally, but potentially specifically. Jesus sent disciples out with different instructions at different times. In each case, it was to our advantage to follow the advice of the Mary at the Wedding in Canan … “Do whatever HE tells you”.

    So if God tells a missionary to “go and take no provisions” or to “sell your cloak and buy a sword”, the THAT is exactly what the missionary should do.

    Solomon hit the nail on the head when he wrote that “to everything there is a season”. There are more than 7 billion people in the world, most of whom are on the wide road to damnation and many of whom are clueless that God loves them enough to send his Son to save them. We have an obligation to stand on the rooftops and in the marketplace and at the crossroads and shout out the GOOD NEWS to as many as God will allow us the honor to tell. We have no obligation to beg those who choose to hate God over and over to change their ways. This is especially true if we are not proclaiming the message at the crossroad to the multitude that might be saved because we are holed up with the reprobate.

    It is not our JOB to change hearts, that task belongs to God. Our job is to broadcast seed.
  4. Acts29

    Acts29 Member

    United States
    My answer doesn't really fit into the options you listed. I see it as Jesus teaching His disciples what to do. Most in the church are not His disciples. (I do not mean they are lost. Just that they don't learn from Him directly.) His disciples learn from Him directly. Like Paul, for example, when he went to Arabia for three years and learned the gospel from the Holy Spirit. He didn't learn from the disciples, but from God directly.

    Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. ... 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

    A disciple of Jesus must forsake all and take up their cross, like Paul. The vast majority of Christians, including pastors, do not do that. There are a very few who are His disciples to this day. Usually they will have all the gifts and are considered prophets. These very few must speak and do very bold things, like shaking off the dust of their feet as a testimony against a city. The prophets of the OT would a good example of Jesus' disciple. They learned from God directly and then the people were supposed to learn from them.