Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over evil[b] spirits.
8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
v8-9 – Mark records that the disciples were instructed to take nothing with them except staffs, while in the Matthew and Luke accounts Jesus told them not to take staffs. One explanation is that Matthew and Luke were referring to a club used for protection, whereas Mark was talking about a shepherd’s crook. In any case, the point in all three accounts is the same – the disciples were to leave at once, without extensive preparation, trusting in God’s care rather than in their own resources. (Source: LASB)
v11 – Pious Jews shook the dust from their feet after passing through Gentiles cities or territory and practices. When the disciples shook the dusk from their feet after leaving a Jewish town, it was a vivid sign that they wished to remain separate from people who had rejected Jesus and his message. Jesus made it clear that the listeners were responsible for what they did with the gospel. The disciples were not to blame if the message was rejected, as long as they had faithfully and carefully presented it. We are not responsible when others reject Christ’s message of salvation, but we do have the responsibility to share the gospel clearly and faithfully. (Source: LASB)
v12 – What does it mean to preach? It simply means to proclaim, to tell others in the sense of announcing news to them
v13 – The other reference to anointing with oil for healing is in James 5:14-15. We know that anointing with oil was a picture of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but it may also have had a medicinal purpose in that day.
i. “It is possible that the use of oil (olive oil) as a medicine is the basis of the practice . . . It was the best medicine of the ancients and was used internally and externally . . . The very word aleipho can be translated rub or anoint without any ceremony.” (Robertson)
ii. “Galen, the great Greek doctor, said, ‘Oil is the best of all instruments for healing diseased bodies.’” (Barclay)