Beliefnet
Jesus Creed

Jesus told his missional Apostles not to take money, not to carry a beggar’s bag, and not even to take extra clothing and shoes — and then adds they are not to take a staff (probably a protective device).
There have been many interpretations of Jesus’ strong directions to the Apostles on what provisions on their missional journey. To begin with, the entire monastic tradition has taken them literally — and I think here of both St. Francis and St. Bonaventure. Another view sees Jesus distancing his followers from the Cynics, who did carry a “beggar’s bag.” So, it becomes a social statement and behavior that defines the group around Jesus.
The critical factor, so far as I read the text, is that Matthew 10:9-10a is explained in 10:10b (“for the the worker is worthy of his provisions”). In other words, missional work like this requires:
(1) trust in God,
(2) the protection of the Kingdom’s reputation by what it looks like, and
(3) assumption that God’s people will provide.
Missional work, then, is work done in dependence on God and for God’s glory and in the context of God’s good people. We might call these the foundation, the direction, and the condition of missional work: missional folk trust in God, they aim to please God in everything they do, and they inhabit the community.
There is a subtle issue that is as relevant now as it was then: money-grubbing is not part of God’s missional workers. Let me speak for the “workers” here: they deserve to be cared for and to provided for. They are, Jesus says, “worthy” of that.

Advertisement

Previous Posts
Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus