What are you predicting? Part 2
January 24, 2013
In the early days of Jesus’ ministry, he sent his disciples out into the community ahead of his arrival. He assured them that every need would be taken care of with these words: “Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.” The work that he had given them to do was profound, work that Jesus himself had already been doing, and training them to do. He told them, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:” (see Matt 10: 8-10) He also told them, in essence, that they should just move on from anywhere they were not welcome because others down the road would greet them enthusiastically. And it proved to be the case. They returned to him with stories of great success.
At the end of Jesus’ ministry, his advice was much different. He cautioned his disciples, “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (see Luke 22:35,36) What had changed?
Jesus knew he would be leaving them. At least for a little while. He was predicting that things would be pretty tough for the disciples – at least for a little while. And they were. The disciples would struggle briefly with the loss of the man Jesus – even though he had taught them everything they needed to know about the ever-present Christ he represented. They would even predict that his ministry was over, and for naught. The awful story was so compelling Peter suggested they go back to fishing. And they did. But even that was unsuccessful.
The Bible says that Jesus appeared to the doubting disciples several times after his resurrection to reaffirm what he’d already given to them (and to predict their success in the future); to encourage and chastise them (see Luke 24:36-39); to give them directions about how to proceed (see Mark 16:14, 15); and to let them know that his love – God’s love made manifest – was ever with them. And Jesus stuck with it until the disciples finally got it.
And they did get it! But Jesus predicted that too! He said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (see John 17:20,21)
That prayer is a prediction for you and me too, that even if the times seem tough, we can believe on him and regain our sense of oneness with the Father. That guarantees that we’re never really alone, never really without the care and the safety and progress we need. So whether we go into the world with scrip or without, let’s always be sure to go knowing, even predicting the encompassing care of the Christ. Then, like the disciples, we too can be assured by this promise: “lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt 28:20)
That’s a prediction we can live with – eternally!
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.